Chinese silver grass was introduced from Asia about a century ago for use as an ornamental plant. It is a showy grass that readily spreads in areas where the soil is disturbed, such as roadsides, forest edges and clearings, and can create a thicket that prevents the growth of other plants. Because it is highly flammable, Chinese silver grass can be a fire hazard. It spreads by wind-dispersed seed and locally through growth of rhizomes. <www.invasive.org>
In 100 Years of Change in the Distribution of Common Indiana Weeds by William and Edith Overlease (2002) reported that Chinese silvergrass was not recorded in Indiana in 1899 (Coulter’s Catalogue of Indiana Plants); however, in 1940 (Deam’s Flora) it was reported that “it is often cultivated. There is no record of its escape.” In 2002, Overlease observed it to be planted as an ornamental in eighty-eight counties, but only spreading from planting in four counties. Those counties in Indiana that Chinese silvergrass were spreading were Orange, Pulaski, Switzerland, and Warrick.