Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Western Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Arundo donox L.
- Family: Grass (Gramineae)
- Flowering: August-October
- Field Marks: This giant grass differs from the somewhat similar common reed (Phragmites australis) by being larger in all aspects and by having hairy lemmas in the spikelets.
- Habitat: Moist, disturbed soil, often along roads and in irrigation ditches.
- Habit: Giant clump-forming perennial with stout, knotty rhizomes.
- Stems: Upright, very stout, hollow, up to 20 feet tall.
- Leaves: Elongated, flat, up to 3 1/2 inches wide, heart-shaped and with tufts of hairs at the base.
- Flowers: Borne in spikelets, the spikelets arranged in dense, plume-like spikes up to 2 feet long and up to 10 inches thick, each spikelet several-flowered, about 1/2 inch long; lemmas hairy, tipped with a short awn.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: 0.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Grains: Ovoid, smooth.
- Notes: This giant grass is native to Europe and has been planted in the United States as an ornamental which occasionally escapes into generally moist habitats.
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