Close up of basketgrass.

Basketgrass, A Common Landscape Weed

What is Basketgrass?

Basketgrass is the common name of a species of Oplismenus, a weed commonly found in shady lawns and landscapes. It is also known as woodsgrass, jewgrass and wavyleaf basketgrass.  Many species of Oplismenus grow in Central Florida and Oplismenus setarius is a native perennial while Oplismenus hirtellus is an introduced exotic.  Both species, and others, can be troublesome in home lawns.

Bloom and leaf texture of basketgrass.

Bloom and leaf texture of basketgrass.               Photo credit: Anne Yasalonis, UF/IFAS Extension

Why is it a problem?

Basketgrass is problematic in shady areas of the landscape where, once established, it can be difficult to eradicate.  It is shade-tolerant, low-growing and can easily take over an area where turfgrass may be struggling.  It requires little to no irrigation or maintenance and will create a dense groundcover if left alone.

How can I get rid of it?

Basketgrass can be difficult to remove.  It can be  hand pulled and dug up.  A 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch should be applied over the area.  After hand removal, consider planting with a more desirable groundcover such as Asiatic Jasmine (Trachelospermum asiaticum) or Liriope (Liriope muscari). Both will handle shady landscapes and grow well under trees.  Over time, they may out-compete the basketgrass.

An herbicide, such as glyphosate, may also be used to remove basketgrass.  Use caution if spraying under or near trees and other plant material as glyphosate products are not selective and will damage and/or kill desirable plants as well.  Always follow the instructions on the label when applying an herbicide product.

Basketgrass densly covers a shady area in the lawn.

Basketgrass densly covers a shady area in the lawn. Photo credit: Anne Yasalonis, UF/IFAS Extension

Where can I find more information?

Oplismenus burmannii
Oplimenus hirtellus
Oplismenus setarius

Link to Basketgrass Fact Sheet

If you have questions about your lawn and landscape, contact the Plant Clinic at (863)519-1057 Monday-Friday, 9:00 am-4:00 pm.  You can also come in with samples or email us photos.

An equal opportunity institution.

8 Comments on “Basketgrass, A Common Landscape Weed

  1. I have something very similar but have been told mine is creeping Jenny. Is this similar & can it be removed the same way? Whatever mine is, it most always in my shady areas & is spreading like a “bad weed” covering about half of my back yard! Help!!

  2. Thanks for this article Anne! I’m really surprised to find that EDIS doesn’t have a document discussing Basketgrass after a long search this morning only turned up your blog in connection to UF/IFAS!

    • Thanks, Kaydie! We have been received a TON of questions about basketgrass lately. I couldn’t find anything either, so I consulted with Dr. Marble and wrote this up. I am so glad it was helpful 🙂

  3. Anne, thank you for this timely article! I have been pulling my hair out trying to find information on this – I’m taking the UF Volunteer Master Gardener course for the Manatee county extension service. The class is broken into teams to do a project. Our group project is 10 weeds commonly found in lawns… and we are creating brochures to hand out to clients outlining how to deal with said weed- whether it’s a summer or winter annual, perennial, biennial… pre-and post emergent advise… you get the idea. We divided the weeds and lucky me, I picked Basketgrass! never having any idea how long and hard I would search, only to find information on the Oplismenus varieties found in Maryland and such, but zilch for the Florida variety except as a desirable. When I mentioned the difficulty I was having I was told by an instructor that the variety we deal with is Bristle Basketgrass, Oplismenus setarius, which made it even harder to find anything! And I keep coming up with inconsistencies regarding which Oplismenus is which.
    Can I get your permission to utilize the information you’ve provided for my project? Feel free to email me back and we could talk directly if you like. I can use all the help I can get on this!
    Thank you in advance!
    Andrea Lewis

  4. Does this plant produce seeds on thin stalks? The seeds are sticky and attach to clothes and animal fur. If so, is the seed poisonous when the dog licks it off its fur? Kinda worried about this.

    • Pamela, Yes the seed stalks are thin and can stick to fur, pants etc. I don’t think they are poisonous as I have not found anything to indicate that. The seeds are very small and perhaps you could wipe off your dog’s fur before it comes indoors to eliminate any excess ingestion of the seeds.
      Let us know if you have any other questions by contacting the Plant Clinic at 863-519-1041.

  5. To me, basketgrass is an attractive, native ground-cover which will grow where other things (grass) will not. I’m trying to establish it in my shady back yard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *