Common Reed

Genus Phragmites
Grass Family (Poaceae or Gramineae)



Common Reeds

Common Reed
(Phragmites communis)

This plant tolerates the disturbances of "civilization" better than most. This is because it spreads from underground rhizomes as well as germinating from seeds. Whenever the land or waterways are dredged or disturbed, the effect is to break apart and redistribute the rhizomes. Then the colonies of plants grow back even thicker than before.

Common Reeds


This is the tallest grass that grows in our area -- up to 12 feet tall or more. It grows in marshy places, often crowding out other species such as cattails.

The genus name is taken from the Greek word phragma, meaning fence.