Download common reed - Stevens County

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Common Reed
Grass Family
Phragmites australis
Key identifying traits
Very large grass with stems that are woody and hollow;
can reach heights to 12’ tall
Leaves are lanceolate, 8-16” long
Has creeping rhizomes and sometimes stolons are present
Flowers are feathery, tawny or purplish, 6–16” long, with
the branches ascending
Biology and ecology
 A perennial plant primarily spreading by rhizomes but also
by seed
 It grows in marshes and swamps, on banks of streams and
lakes, and around springs-likes standing water
 There appears to be a native and non-native genotype of
common reed in the U.S. Please click here to read a full
report of the two plants
 Native Americans utilized the stems for arrows, basket
weaving, sleeping mats, and carrying nets
 Phragmites australis is found on every continent except
Antarctica and is thought to have the widest distribution
of any flowering plant although the origin of the plant is
Photos top & middle courtesy Mike Haddock,
Prevention – Learn to identify plants; start monitoring early
in the season
Biological – No known biological control in our area
Cultural – Plant competitive grass or other cover crop
Mechanical – The plant can survive burning and cutting
because of the hardy rhizomes; dredging has been used with
some success at reducing population densities
Chemical – As a member of the grass family, only nonselective, grass killing herbicides will control it; control in or
near water bodies may require special permits. The PNW
Weed Management handbook has no listings for chemical
Where found – No sites of Common reed have been verified
James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,
in the Stevens County to date.
Stevens County Noxious Weed Control Board, December 2007