Invasive plant found in southern Maine for first time

YORK, Maine (AP) — Maine agriculture authorities are urging nursery owners and land managers to search properties for the presence of an invasive plant that has been found in York County.

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry said it recently confirmed the first Maine location of Japanese stiltgrass. The plant was found at a nursery, the department said. It had previously been found only as close as nurseries in New Hampshire.

State horticulturist Gary Fish said agriculture officials “knew it was likely that this invasive plant would make its way to Maine eventually." The plant has the ability to make it difficult for native trees and wildflower seeds to grow, the agriculture department said.

The state is asking landowners and nursery managers to be on the lookout for dense patches of unfamiliar grass that could be the stiltgrass, the department said.