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
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
(GPS coordinates, if possible. If not, then an intersection, or other
- Description of environmental context (e.g. roadside, pasture,
- 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)
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 D. Quinn, Ph.D.
Post Doctoral Researcher
University of Illinois
Urbana, IL 61801
ldquinn (at) illinois.edu