The Bugwood Network
NPS and USFWS

Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas

Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of
Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.



Common Reed
Joseph McCauley, USFWS
Common Reed
Phragmites australis

Common reed is a tall grass that inhabits wet areas like brackish and freshwater marshes, riverbanks, lakeshores, ditches and dredge spoil areas. Native and introduced forms of Phragmites occur in the United States. Researchers believe that introduced European forms are the aggressive invasives that have replaced much of our native reed. Common reed threatens by displacing native plants and forming monocultures in otherwise biologically diverse natural wetlands. It spreads by seed and strong vegetative growth and is very difficult to control once established.

Prevention and Control
Control of Phragmites is difficult, time-consuming, labor intensive and costly. Cutting, burning and chemical herbicides are all used to control it under various circumstances. Researchers have recently begun investigating the potential for biological control of this plant.

Native Alternatives
After controlling Phragmites, replant area with native wetland plants suitable to the site's salinity and wetness. Contact federal or state natural resource agencies for assistance in selecting and locating native alternatives. Refer to References.


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USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.