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Small carpetgrass, or joint-head grass, is an annual grass native to temperate and tropical Asia and Australia. It was first observed in Virginia in 1930s and may have been accidentally introduced. It is reported to be invasive throughout the mid-Atlantic from Connecticut to Tennessee. It favors sunny moist habitats like floodplains, stream banks and shorelines, as well as roads and trails and thrives in sunny areas. It is invasive in scattered locations but has not been reported to be highly invasive over large areas to date. It has upright, smooth hairless stems 1-2 ft. tall are branched with many nodes which can root when they come in contact with the ground. The leaves are 1-2 in. long by about ½ in. wide, egg- to lance-shaped with a cordate (heart-shaped) base that clasps around the stem. The leaf stem and leaf margins are visibly hairy and the leaf sheath is covered with wart-like nodules. Flowers and fruits are produced September through November in terminal finger-like clusters ½-1½ in. long. It spreads by seed that can be dispersed by moving water. It may be confused with deertongue panicgrass (Dicanthelium clandestinum), a native species, which is taller and has longer leaves that lack marginal hairs. It is a plant to keep an eye on and when possible, infestations should be eradicated to prevent potential spread.


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