Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Giant Reed - Arundo donax   L.
Members of Poaceae:
Only member of Arundo in NC.
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Section 5 » Order Cyperales » Family Poaceae
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DistributionScattered in the Sandhills and Piedmont; rare in the Mountains and outer Coastal Plain. The Buncombe County site is at the Biltmore nursery, where plants have persisted (after planting) for more than 100 years. Planted in many counties not mapped, and likely to be found as local escapes.

Native to Eurasia; in N.A. from VA and WV to KS and northern CA, south to FL, TX, and southern CA.
AbundanceUncommon as self-reliant colonies. Planted in many counties not mapped, and likely to be found as local escapes.
HabitatMoist to wet soil of roadsides, streambanks, ditches, waste ground. In the Old World, used extensively for thatching, building material, musical instruments, mats, screens, stakes, etc.
PhenologyFlowering and fruiting September-November.
IdentificationGiant Reed should be familiar to most people owing to its remarkable height, and it lives up to its name -- growing up to 15 or even 30 feet tall! Erect stems grow from thick, tough, horizontal rhizomes. The leaves are 2-ranked (distichous), up to a 3 feet long, and numerous. The inflorescence, when well-developed, is even larger than that of Phragmites and held prominently at the tip of the stem; however, it is seldom seen.
Taxonomic Comments
Other Common Name(s)
State RankSE
Global RankG5
State Status
US Status
USACE-agcpFAC link
USACE-empFACU link
County Map - click on a county to view source of record.
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B.A. SorrieRoadside off Old US1, Oct 2015. RichmondPhoto_non_natural
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