Alien Invasives

Giant Reed (Arundo donax)


07 October 2016

Giant Reed (Arundo donax)

Giant Reed is tall aquatic reed growing 2 to 6 metres tall and vigorously spreading from horizontal rootstocks. Leaves are pale green to bluish green and leaf sheaths are persistent on the stems. Cream or brown, compact, erect, spear-shaped silky inflorescences appear at the tip all year round.

Other names
Bamboo Reed, Spanish Reed (English)
Spaanse Riet (Afrikaans)
Invasive status
NEMBA Category 1b
CARA 2002 Category 1

Giant Reed
Originally from
Where is it a problem?
Throughout South Africa in wetlands
How does it spread?
Horizontally from rootstocks and plant segments that float down rivers and root in banks
Why is it a problem?
Competes with and replaces indigenous species. It forms very dense stands on riverbanks and in riverbeds which results in the narrowing of water channels, increased siltation and the exclusion of smaller and less vigorous riverbank species.
Planting alternatives
Common Reed (Phragmites australis), East Coast Broomgrass (Miscanthus capensis), Wireleafe Broomgrass (Miscanthus junceus), Bulrush (Typha capensis)
Ornamental for screening, ceilings and musical instruments such as wind chimes

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