Phragmites, also called the common reed, is a long-lived, perennial grass that grows in tall stands that can exclude almost all other vegetation. While some strains of the species are native to North America, aggressive non-native strains have expanded throughout the United States, replacing much of the native reed. Species Description Phragmites forms dense stands that can reach up to 15 feet high. Leaves are broad and pointed and reach 8-24 inches long. Flowers form bushy clusters that look “fluffy ” due to fine hairs that grow on the seeds as they mature. Below ground, Phragmites forms a dense network of roots and rhizomes several feet deep. Rhizomes can grow 10 feet or more in a single season. Differentiating between native and invasive forms of Phragmites can be very difficult so DNA analysis is the most reliable method for identifying strains. Biology & Spread Phragmites reproduces and spreads both b
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