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Phragmites australis

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
frag-MY-teez aus-TRAY-lis
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Common reed is an invasive water plant in the grass family that is native to Europe. There are both native and exotic haplotypes and only the exotic one occurs in NC. This grass is found in wet sites and can tolerate brackish water. and even standing water up to 3 feet deep. It is capable of spreading rapidly by rhizomes forming large stands from 1/2 to 1 mile square. In NC it is found in the coastal plain.

This grass will grow 12-20 feet tall with bluish-green leaves 7-24 inches long. The cane-like stems produce a 5-16 inch plume of gray to purple inflorescence from mid-Summer through Fall. The seedheads follow and have a fluffy look. The plant grows best in warm climates and fertile soil.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Listed as invasive by the NC Invasive Plant Council and the US Dept. of Agriculture National Invasive Species site.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#tall grass#rhizomatous#wet soils tolerant#weed#wetland#perennial grass
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#invasive#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#tall grass#rhizomatous#wet soils tolerant#weed#wetland#perennial grass
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phragmites
    Species:
    australis
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Europe
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Weed
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Frequent Standing Water
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
    Fruit Description:
    Seedheads are fluffy looking due to hairs on the spikelets and are grayish in color in fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Gray to purple inflorescence is 5-16 inches long and occurs in late summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Blue-green leaves are linear to lanceolate-linear up to 24 inches long and 1.5 inches wide. Each has a sheath around the culm that forms a minute membranous rim fringed with hairs. They turn tan during the winter.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Cane-like stems are hollow, tan in color and ridged.
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Salt
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy