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Reston, Virginia

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Wescott Woods Homeowners Association 

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Invasive Plants

By Board, Mar 24 2019 09:23PM

Invasive plants are taking hold in the spring.

The focus of this article is Japanese Stiltgrass and Lesser Celandine

Treat now with Dimension crabgrass pre-emergent to prevent the highly invasive Japanese Stiltgrass (Microstegium vimineum) from germinating and taking over in August and September.

In Wescott Woods, the invasive thrives in shady , wooded areas, and chokes out the undergrowth, before spreading to your lawns in late summer and early fall. Reston Association may assist with control, but you will find them reluctant to do so.

The pre-emergent will help to control the spread so that you can hand pull these invasives in late summer or early fall. Ideally you would pull these before the small white flowers go to seed. Once seeded, Virginia Tech says Japanese stiltgrass will continue to germinate for 5-7 years, hence the need for chemical assistance.

Japanese stiltgrass was accidentally introduced into the U.S. state of Tennessee around 1919 as a result of being used as a packing material in shipments of porcelain from China. It has spread throughout the Southeastern US and is now found in 26 states. Removal of Microstegium can lead to recovery of native plant communities.

This invasive typically grows to heights between 40 and 100 cm (1.3 and 3.3 ft) and is capable of rooting at each node. The plant flowers in late summer and produces its seeds in the form of a caryopsis shortly thereafter.[3][4] It is quite similar to and often grows along with the native North American grass (Leersia virginica), but L. virginica lacks the distinctive silver stripe on the center of the leaf that is present on Japanese stiltgrass and also flowers one to two months earlier.

Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna), (formerly Ranunculus ficaria L.) commonly known as lesser celandine or pilewort, is a low-growing, hairless perennial flowering plant in the buttercup family Ranunculaceae native to Europe and west Asia. It has fleshy dark green, heart-shaped leaves and distinctive flowers with bright yellow, glossy petals. It is now introduced in North America, where it is known by the common name fig buttercup and considered an invasive species.

In Wescott Woods, this invasive proliferates in seasonally wet or flooded wooded areas, and Reston Association will treat in the late winter and early spring upon request.

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