Phragmites australis (Cavanilles) Trinius ex Steudel
Synonym(s): phragmites

Common reed is a tall, perennial grass that can grow to heights of 15 ft. (4.6 m) or more. Broad, pointed leaves arise from thick, vertical stalks. Leaves are 6-23.6 in. (15-60 cm) long, 0.4-2.4 in. (1-6 cm) wide, flat and glabrous. The flower heads are dense, fluffy, gray or purple in color and 5.9-15.7 in. (15-40 cm) long. Flowering occurs from July to October. Common reed is usually found in dense thickets growing in or near shallow water. These thickets displace native wetlands plants, alter hydrology and block sunlight to the aquatic community. Exotic common reed is native to Eurasia and Africa. Native Phragmites do occur in the United States and they are sometimes very difficult to distinguish from the exotics.

Identification, Biology, Control and Management Resources