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Phragmites australis

Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.

Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. var. berlandieri (Fourn.) C.F. Reed

Phragmites communis Trin.

Phragmites communis Trin. ssp. berlandieri (Fourn.) A. Löve & D. Löve

Phragmites communis Trin. var. berlandieri (Fourn.) Fernald

Phragmites phragmites (L.) Karst.

Phragmites, Common Reed

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassLiliopsidaMonocots (plants with a single seed leaf); includes the lily family
SubclassCommelinidaeDayflowers and spiderworts, and several others
OrderCyperalesFlowering plants including grasses
FamilyPoaceaeGrasses (but not sedges or rushes)
GenusPhragmitesFrom the Greek phragma, “a fence or screen, hedge,” hence growing in hedges
SpeciesaustralisSouthern

About plant names...

The common reed is found in wetlands through much of North America and the rest of the world. It is found throughout the conterminous United States. It is considered invasive (or otherwise undesirable) in many states along the Atlantic coast, as well as much of the midwest and parts of the Pacific northwest.

Identification: Phragmites looks like (and is) a giant grass, with blades up to 20" (50 cm) long. It can grow as high as 20' (6.1 m), occurring in dense stands (up to 20 stems per square foot) and spreading very quickly. Flowers are dark purple, growing in dense spikes up to 24" (60 cm) long. It is found near fresh and brackish water, and may grow in standing water or even as free-floating mats.

Online References:

Phragmites australis on Wikipedia

Phragmites australis on the USDA Plants Database

Phragmites australis on the Virginia Tech Weed Identification Guide

Phragmites australis on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Phragmites australis on site.www.umb.edu

Phragmites australis at Purdue University's Center for New Crops and Plants Products

Phragmites australis on the USDA Forest Service's Fire Effects Information Database

Phragmites australis at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (PDF)

References:

Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, Common Weeds of the United States, Dover Publications, Inc., 1971

Uva, Richard H.; Neal, Joseph C.; DiTomaso, Joseph M., Weeds of the Northeast, Comstock Publishing Associates, 1997, p. 76

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

8/1/2009 · Falmouth, ME
≈ 4 × 6½' (1.3 × 2.0 m)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

9/14/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 14 × 9" (35 × 23 cm)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

8/1/2009 · Falmouth, ME
≈ 3½ × 5½' (1.2 × 1.7 m)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

5/13/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm) ID is uncertain

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

6/1/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 5 × 6" (13 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

11/7/2009 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 14 × 18" (34 × 46 cm)

Phragmites australis description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

1/6/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 18 × 12" (45 × 30 cm) ID is uncertain

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

6/5/2013 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 6 × 4½" (15 × 11 cm)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

5/13/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 15 × 19" (37 × 48 cm)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

6/16/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 21 × 31" (52 × 78 cm)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

6/1/2010 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 31 × 46" (78 × 117 cm) ID is uncertain

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

12/13/2011 · Nashua River Rail Trail, Groton Center, Groton, MA
≈ 9 × 13" (23 × 32 cm)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

4/12/2011
≈ 9 × 13" (22 × 32 cm)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

8/1/2009 · Falmouth, ME
≈ 4 × 2½' (1.2 × 0.8 m)

Phragmites australis (Phragmites, Common Reed)

10/27/2006 · Edgartown, MA · By Philip A. Despo ID is uncertain

Range:

About this map...