Miscanthus sightings?

I am a researcher at the University of Illinois, and I'm looking for help to locate escaped individuals or whole populations of Miscanthus sinensis and/or M. sacchariflorus in natural areas across the U.S. These are large ornamental grasses commonly planted in gardens and used in landscaping. Unfortunately, many varieties of Miscanthus have the capacity to produce copious viable seeds which can establish in "natural" areas (e.g. roadsides, pastures, forest openings) to become invasive. As part of a large study aimed at describing the current distribution of naturalized Miscanthus populations, I am planning to visit as many of these populations as possible this summer and next.

I need help locating naturalized populations of M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus across the country. If you are a gardener or a naturalist or someone with botanical training, I'd love your help! 

More specifics on what I'm looking for...

The species: Miscanthus sinensis and Miscanthus sacchariflorus 

The environmental context:
  • Any Miscanthus individuals in "natural" areas. That is, plants that have established independently away from intentional cultivation. "Natural areas" can be roadsides, forest openings, pastures, etc. I am not as interested in instances of "volunteer" plants growing in the same yard where they were planted in the first place. Ideally, I'm looking for plants that have moved themselves (via seed dispersal or rarely rhizome dispersal) some substantial distance away from plantings (perhaps across some natural boundary) to establish healthy self-sustaining populations.

The info I'd like (I'll take whatever I can get):
  • A photo of the population
  • Location (GPS coordinates, if possible. If not, then an intersection, or other landmark)
  • Description of environmental context (e.g. roadside, pasture, etc)
  • Population size (a rough estimate of the number of plants. E.g. one, a handful, a dozen, hundreds, etc)
  • If on private property, names/contact info of property owners if possible
  • If possible, an estimate of the history of the population (how long it has been there, where the nearest planting is and when it was planted)
  • Your contact info

An additional useful step:
  • If possible, you can add sightings to the map of naturalized populations of M. sinensis and M. sacchariflorus on EDDMaps. This is a fairly painless process described here: http://www.eddmaps.org/report/index2.cfm
  • Otherwise, you can send sightings directly to me at this email address: ldquinn (at) illinois.edu

Thank you so much!

Lauren Quinn


Lauren D. Quinn, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Researcher
Energy Biosciences Institute
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
ldquinn (at) illinois.edu
708-753-3709


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