Collected on November 17, 1949, this specimen was found by Bayard Long in Delaware. Native to east Asia, Japanese stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) was introduced by accident to Knoxville, Tennessee around 1919 when it was used as packing material for porcelain dishes from China. It has since become a major invasive species, spreading across forests of eastern North America. It is commonly found along trails, forest roads, and floodplains. It has been shown to be facilitated by deer overabundance. A recent study of unconventional gas well pads (hydraulic fracturing) in Pennsylvania by Penn State researchers found that recent hydraulic fracturing activities facilitates stiltgrass invasion (Barlow et al., 2017 Journal of Environmental Management).
Botanists at Carnegie Museum of Natural History share pieces of the herbarium’s historical hidden collection on the dates they were discovered or collected. Check back for more!