Phalaris arundinacea

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Legend for Species Pages

Reed Canary Grass

Phalaris arundinacea
  • Moss, Flora of Alberta – Circumpolar
  • Global Invasive Species Database – Yes[1]
  • NatureServe I-Rank – High
  • Haber, Upland – No
  • Haber, Wetland – Principal
  • CWF, Status & Invasive Range – Low to moderate, ON, PQ
  • Alberta Revegetation Guidelines – Invasive agronomic: This species includes 2 taxa, one native, the other Eurasian. The Eurasian taxon is inva­sive in wetlands
  • The Nature Conservancy – Yes, w/ ESA
  • CBCN – No
  • AB Weed – No


Native and Exotic. Used as a pasture grass for wet areas it spreads to choke streams and prevent the establishment of woody riparian species. Catling and Carbyn (2006, Canadian Field Naturalist 120, No 3 pp 307-312) supply a key to separate the non-native subspecies (australis) from the native subspecies (americanus). The native subspecies has reddish basal internodes and the longest lower glume is 3.8-7mm long. The non-native subspecies has pale yellow basal internodes with shorter lower glumes (the longest from 2.6 to 4.2 mm).

[2] Link to USDA Plant Profile for Phalaris arundinacea L.

[3] Link to USDA Plant Characteristics for Phalaris arundinacea L.

[4] Link to NatureServe Explorer Search for Phalaris arundinacea, click on the species link, and expand all sections to see detailed assessment of invasiveness (I-Rank)

[5] Link to Missouri Department of Conservation, Vegetation Management Guideline, Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.)

Phalarun 1.jpg
Phalarun 2.jpg
Phalarun XID Phalaris arundinacea3.jpg
photo: J.B. Posey
photo: J.B. Posey
Phalarun XID Phalaris arundinacea6.jpg
Phalarun XID Phalaris arundinacea2.jpg
from Vascular Plants of the Pacific Northwest
Phalarun XID Phalaris arundinacea picta.jpg