Common reed  (Phragmites australis)


Class B Noxious Weed in Benton County

Common reed is a large perennial grass with creeping rhizomes and distinctive feathery, plume-like flowerheads. Common reed looks very similar to our native, genotype of Phragmites australis, which is being outcompeted by the invasive genotype.


The flowers are dense and silky. Floral spikes are tawny, purplish and 1 to 16 inches long. The leaves are lance-shaped and 8 to 16 inches long and 1/5 -1.5 inches wide. The leaf blade is smooth. Loose blades will twist in the wind to one side. Stems are woody, rough, hollow culms and can reach 12 feet tall.



Few techniques are fully effective when used alone, and re-invasion by phragmites is likely when the management strategy is not maintained. The methods to be used for a particular site will depend upon existing conditions and management goals. Care must be taken not to produce new plants. All plant material should be removed since rhizomes can produce new plants.

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