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Giant Reed

Giant Reed
Photo: PIRSA
Invasive Plant
Giant Reed
Arundo donax*

Commonly called ’bamboo’ in SA, this perennial grass to 4 metres tall looks like similar to Phragmites reed, only bigger. The stems are woody like bamboo, with leaves in two ranks along most of their length.  The flowering heads are dense white plumes at top of stems, but never produce seed.  There are also forms with green/yellow striped leaves.  Once planted, giant reed is persistent. It can be spread into native vegetation along streams by waste dumping, and floods can move it downstream into wetlands.

  (Note: NB Arundo donax declaration is pending approval by NRM Boards and Minister)

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Alternative Plants

Giant Chinese silver grass
Photo: Tupelo Grove Nursery
Alternative Plant Giant Chinese silver grass
Miscanthus giganteus
This is a grass of monstrous proportions, forming very tall clumps of green leaves, their tips arching gracefully in layers.  Useful as a living screen, bearing soft-pink plumes in the fall.  The corn-like stalks turn creamy tan in winter. Clumps are large, but well behaved and not invasive.  Lower leaves have a tendency to wither in late summer, so planting something tall in front is recommended. Plants enjoy moisture, and are even happy growing beside water, however they also tolerate moderate drought conditions.  Trim back to the ground in early spring.
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