Phragmites

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About

Phragmites, or European Common Reed, is an invasive plant that causes harm to many ecosystems such as wetlands and beaches.  The invasive strain is native to Europe and was introduced via ballast water, erosion control, and for filtering with wastewater treatment. They prefer areas with plenty of water and are commonly found in dense thickets, creating poor habitat for native fauna. 

Effects

  • Reduce biodiversity
  • Threatens habitat for other native flora and fauna

Potential Ways to Reduce

  • Herbicides
  • Mechanical removal (i.e. cutting or mowing)

How to Identify

Phragmites can grow to be 15 feet tall, although majority of the plant is underground as a root system. At the top of the stalk, there are plumes that contain seeds. In the warmer seasons, the stalks are green while the plumes are yellow. In the colder seasons, the stalks and plumes are brownish purple.