giant reed
Arundo donax L.


Arundo donax is a perennial grass that can reach up to 20 ft. (6.1 m) in height. Although it can be much shorter when damaged or stressed. The stem resembles a corn stalk.
Leaves are long, flat and grow up to 1.5 ft. (0.5 m) long. They can be green or have variegated green and white stripes the length of the blade.
Flowering occurs in late summer to early fall, when plants are most easily recognized because of the large, dense flower plumes that develop at the tops of the culms. The plums can grow up to 3 ft. (0.9 m) in length.
No fruits or seeds typically outside of its native range. The plant spreads through rhizomes and stem nodes that come in contact with the soil.
Ecological Threat
Arundo donax invades wetlands such as ditches, stream banks and lake shores. Arundo donax competes for water, nutrients and radiation, suppresses and excludes native vegetation which degrades wildlife habitat, increases fire risks and interferes with flood control. Arundo donax is native to India and was introduced into the United States in the early 1800s for ornamental purposes.


Selected Images


EDDMapS Distribution

EDDMapS Distribution - This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts, herbaria, and literature. For more information, visit

State Regulated List

State Regulated List - This map identifies those states that list this species on their regulated list. For more information, visit

State Regulated List
   No Data for this state
   Troublesome or Common weed in one or more crops

Most Troublesome / Most Common Agricultural Weed List
This map identifies those states that consider this species either most troublesome or most common in at least one commodity. For more information, visit the MTMC project page.

Taxonomic Rank

Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Subclass: Commelinidae
Order: Cyperales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Arundo
Subject: Arundo donax L.

Synonyms and Other Names

Other Common Names:
elephant grass, wild cane, cana brava, carrizo, arundo

Related Scientific Names:
Arundo versicolor L. (Synonym)


Plants - Grass or Grasslike