Saturday, July 18, 2020
How to identify Oplismenus undulatifolius (Wavyleaf Basketgrass)
I'm not an expert at all in identifying grasses, and in fact I'm quite new at it. But in the case of this new invasive species identification is actually fairly easy so long as you look for certain attributes. And you don't even have to look at ligules!
1. Look for even and regular ripples on the upper leaf surface. This is I think one of the most characteristic feature of this grass.
2. Check the stems for hairiness. This species is quite hairy, and the hairs are visible to the naked eye. This is also one way to distinguish this species from native Oplismenus, which are much less hairy.
3. When looking at a riot of understory plants, look for specimens that tend to sprawl on the ground and whose alternate leaves are all on the same plane. The leaf tips are also quite long and sharp.
Easy, right? Now see whether you can spot this species in the image below.
Here are some specimens in that pic ;-)