Coastal Invasive Species Committee

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Giant Reed

Arundo donax

Giant_Reed_72

PREVENT

Family: Poaceae (Grass).

Other Common Names: Spanish reed, Giant Cane, elephant grass.

Origin: Mediterranean.

Growth Form/Reproduction: Perennial grass. Rarely by seed. Vegetatively from rhizomes, vegetative fragments, or rooting along prostrate stems.

Legal Status: None.

Impacts:
Agricultural: Interferes with drainage; can cause flooding.
Ecological: Colonies can spread over large areas in riparian habitats, where they can compete with native vegetation and reduce habitat for wildlife. Large clones can trap floating debris causing flooding.
Human: Ornamental landscape plant.

Habitat: Requires abundant moisture and sunlight. Tolerates many soil types including high salinity. Adapted best to disturbed, nitrogen-rich soils where water is at or near the soil surface. Grows in agricultural areas, riparian zones and coastlands. Found in ditches, wet meadows, brackish tidal marshes, and along rivers and streams.

Status and Distribution: Not know in BC.

Management Strategy: Small, individual plants can be hand-pulled but all rhizomes must be removed. Cutting or burning is not recommended as this stimulates new growth. Control can be achieved with glyphosate after flowering. Integrated control involves cutting followed by herbicide application. The cut stalks can be left 3-6 weeks to allow regrowth before applying a foliar application of herbicide, or concentrated herbicide can be applied directly to stems immediately following cutting.