- Phragmites communis, P. phragmites
- A tall perennial wetland grass, reaching heights of 6-20 feet. Typically found growing in colonies.
- 10-20 inches long
- .75-1 inches wide
- white hair present at base of leaf sheath
- leaves arise from swollen stem nodes
- hollow between nodes
- Typical grass-like flowers, 0.75 to 15 inches long, starting green or reddish and maturing light brown to purple. Feathery plumes grow on top of long stems, with silky white hairs on the flowers. Three to seven flowers per spikelet. Produces brown seed and blooms from July to September.
- 0.3 inches long
- beaches, dunes, coastal grasslands
- lake, pond, salt marsh, wet meadows
- Tolerant of brackish waters
- prefers fresh water
- tolerates acid or alkaline wetlands
- reproduces mainly vegetatively, from long rhizomes
- seeds are wind-dispersed
Key ID Features:
- glabrous leaves
- white hairs at base of leaf
- swollen nodes
- silky white hairs
- above ground runners
- There are native populations of Phragmites australis in the U.S. that are described as Phragmites australis ssp. americanus. The native and invasive are extremely difficult to distinguish.
- Stems and plumes turn gray and fluffy and persist through winter. This wetland grass thrives in sunny freshwater habitats, it can survive in salt water though growth is restricted. Has visible above ground runners
- is tallest grass in this region. Dispersed through seeds, rhizomes, or stolons. Stems that are knocked over can also root. Tan stalks and feathery plumes persist throughout winter. Phragmites is native to America though a non-native strain is present.
Growth Form: Grass
Origin: Europe, United States
Level of Invasiveness for Nantucket: Invasive
Level of Invasiveness for Massachusetts: Invasive
Massachusetts Cultivation Restrictions: importation ban, propagation ban