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Wasowski, Sally and Andy
Phalaris arundinacea L.
Reed canarygrass, Reed Canary Grass
Poaceae (Grass Family)
Synonym(s): Phalaris arundinacea var. picta, Phalaroides arundinacea, Phalaroides arundinacea var. picta
USDA Symbol: PHAR3
Grows in large patches, the flowering stalks jutting in a uniform layer over the leaves, which also grow to a uniform height. The flower stalks do not persist long after flowering.
This grass is much planted for hay but is also naturally established. Like many marsh plants, Reed Canary Grass spreads by rhizomes and soon forms large patches. The inflorescences can be mistaken for those of Orchard Grass (Dactylis glomerata), but they are more fragile and smooth-textured, and the growth habit is different: Orchard Grass grows in distinct clumps on drier soil. A cultivated variety of Reed Canary Grass, Phalaris arundinacea Picta with white stripes on the leaves, is known as Ribbon Grass and is often planted in gardens.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
, WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Maine to Virginia, west to Washington and California. Native Habitat:
Low, wet places, riverbanks, marshes.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium
BenefitWarning: Some Phacelia species produce a skin irritation in sensitive people, similar to that of poison oak or poison ivy.
Larval Host: Least Skipper (Ancyloxypha numitor)
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2011-01-21
Research By: TWC Staff