Phragmites australis, also called the "common reed" because of its wide distribution, is a perennial wetland species that grows from a large, thick root system buried deep in the sediment of areas of fresh to brackish water. While not completely sure how exactly the plant got here, the invasive variety was most likely introduced to the Atlantic Coast in the late 1800s and the species has since spread throughout the United States and Canada except for the coldest reaches in Alaska and the Nanvut Territory. Phragmites has been widespread in the northeastern US for decades and is quickly spreading west into the Great Plains prompting multi-million dollar control efforts in various states.
|Figure Credit: Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife|
|Flowers of Phragmites.|
For information on the management of Phragmites, visit our Best Management Practices Handbook Chapter 15.11, page 171.
For a distribution map of Phragmites, visit the USDA plants database
For more on the Aquatic Ecosystem Restoration Foundation, visit our website.
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