Arundo donax – Giant Reed
Scientific Name: Arundo donax
Common Names: Giant Reed, Elephant Grass
Duration: Perennial, Evergreen
Growth Habit: Shrub, Subshrub, Graminoid
Arizona Native Status: Introduced
Habitat: Riparian. It usually grows in wetlands (~ 67%-99% of the time), but it is sometimes found in non-wetlands.
Flower Color: Inconspicuous
Flowering Season: Summer
Height: To 20 feet (6 m) tall
Description: The green, plume-like inflorescence has pale brownish spikelets and is up to 2 feet (61 cm) long. The leaf blades are green, up to 3 feet (0.9 m) long, and 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide. When dry, the stems are hard and cane-like, giving this large grass a bamboo-like appearance.
This introduced, invasive weed grows near water here and is very difficult to eradicate in areas where it has become established.
Allergenic – The pollen is moderately allergenic.
Edible – The rhizomes are edible raw, cooked, or dried, but the plants do contain the indole alkaloid Gramine, so don't consume in large amounts and don't feed to dogs because they are very sensitive to this alkaloid.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Family: Poaceae – Grass family
Genus: Arundo L. – giant reed
Species: Arundo donax L. – giant reed
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