common reed USDA PLANTS Symbol: PHAU7
U.S. Nativity: Exotic
Habit: Grass or Grasslike Aquatic
Phragmites australis (Cavanilles) Trinius ex Steudel

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Taxonomic Rank: Liliopsida: Cyperales: Poaceae
Synonym(s): phragmites
Native Range: Mediterranean ()

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

Selected Images from Invasive.orgView All Images at Invasive.org


Infestation; invasion front.
Bernd Blossey, Cornell University, Bugwood.org
Additional Resolutions & Image Usage

Plant(s); beach wetland near Lyme
Jil Swearingen, USDI National Park Service, Bugwood.org
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Seed(s); seed head
Joseph McCauley, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Stem and foliage
Steve Dewey, Utah State University, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Feature(s); Hairs at Leaf-stem Junction
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Root(s); Rhizomes
Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); USDA NRCS. Wetland flora: Field office illustrated guide to plant species. USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Misc. Publ. No. 200. Washington, DC.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Plant(s); Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. Illustrated flora of the northern states and Canada. Vol. 1: 232.
USDA PLANTS Database, USDA NRCS PLANTS Database, Bugwood.org
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Infestation;
John M. Randall, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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Flower(s);
Mandy Tu, The Nature Conservancy, Bugwood.org
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EDDMapS Distribution:
This map is incomplete and is based only on current site and county level reports made by experts and records obtained from USDA Plants Database. For more information, visit www.eddmaps.org
 


State(s) Where Reported invasive.
Based on state level agency and organization lists of invasive plants from WeedUS database.

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U.S. National Parks where reported invasive:
Colonial National Historical Park (Virginia)
Dinosaur National Monument (Colorado)
George Washington Birthplace National Monument (Virginia)
George Washington Memorial Parkway (Virginia)
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore (Indiana)
National Capital Parks East (Washington, D.C.)



Invasive Listing Sources:
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
Alabama Invasive Plant Council
City of Ann Arbor Michigan Parks and Recreation
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 1994.
Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council
Hoffman, R. & K. Kearns, Eds. 1997. Wisconsin manual of control recommendations for ecologically invasive plants. Wisconsin Dept. Natural Resources, Bureau of Endangered Resources. Madison, Wisconsin. 102pp.
Indiana Native Plant and Wildflower Society
Invasive Plant Council of New York State
Jil M. Swearingen, Survey of invasive plants occurring on National Park Service lands, 2000-2007
Kentucky Exotic Pest Plant Council
Maryland Cooperative Extension Service.  2003. Invasive Plant Control in Maryland. Home and Garden Information Center, Home and Garden Mimeo HG88. 4 pp.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1994
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council, 2005
National  Wildlife Refuge Association, Silent Invasion: A Call to Action from the National Wildlife Refuge Association, 2002. Washington DC. 17 pp.
New Hampshire Invasive Species Committee. 2005. Guide to Invasive Upland Plant Species in New Hampshire. New Hampshire Department of Agriculture,  Markets and Food Plant Industry Division and New Hampshire Invasive Species Committee.
New Jersey Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry, 2004
North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, 1998
Pennypack Ecological Restoration Trust, Pennsylvania.
South Carolina Exotic Pest Plant Council
Tennessee Exotic Pest Plant Council
Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2009