Weeds of Wednesday: Good grass?

Oplismenus setarius

Woodsgrass (Oplismenus setarius) is a native grass that grows in the “woods”.  It prefers shaded, moist places and thrives under the thick canopy of live oaks (Quercus virginiana) at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area.  Some botanists refer to it as Oplismenus hirtellus subsp. setarius.

Other common names for this low-growing grass (<6″) include basketgrass and bristle basket grass in reference to its tiny, but pretty, inflorescence.

Can you make a lawn of it?  Likely not.  It tends to disappear in the winter months.  In shady not so moist settings, it can be rather spotty …

This grass is a larval food of Carolina satyr (Hermeuptychia sosbius) butterflies, as is St. Augustine grass and other members of the Poaceae (grass) family.

Be glad if you have it growing in the shade of your oak trees and enjoy it when you see this diminutive grass in moist, shady places in natural areas.

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