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You are here: Home / Aquatic Species / Species Profiles / Giant Reed
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Giant Reed

Giant ReedScientific name: Arundo donax L. (ITIS)

Common names: Giant reed, Spanish reed

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Selected Resources

Native To: Thought to be native to eastern Asia (Polunin & Huxley 1987)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Early 1800's (Robbins et al. 1951, Mariani et al. 2010)

Means of Introduction: Introduced for erosion control (Mariani et al. 2010)

Impacts: Crowds out native plants species; reduces wildlife habitat; contributes to higher fire frequency and intensity; and modifies river hydrology (Giessow et al. 2011)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:


Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands - Arundo donax
California Invasive Plant Council.
Bossard, C.C., J.M. Randall, and M.C. Hoshovsky (Editors). 2000. Invasive Plants of California's Wildlands. University of California Press. Berkeley, CA

Review of Giant Reed (Arundo donax) (PDF | 34 KB)
Alabama Invasive Plant Council.


Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States - Giant Reed
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

Texas Invasives Database - Arundo donax

Invasive Species Compendium - Arundo donax
CAB International.

Global Invasive Species Database - Arundo donax (grass)
World Conservation Union. Invasive Species Specialist Group.


Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) - Arundo donax
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program.

Arundo donax - Fire Effects Information System (FEIS)
USDA. FS. Rocky Mountain Research Station. Fire Sciences Laboratory.

PLANTS Database - Giant Reed
USDA. NRCS. National Plant Data Center.

Arundo donax L. (Giant Reed) - Aquatic Plant Information System (APIS)
DOD. USACE. Engineer Research and Development Center. Environmental Laboratory.

Weed Risk Assessment: Giant Reed (Aug 2009; PDF | 525 KB)
Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries (Australia). Biosecurity Queensland.


Arundo donax
Ventura County Weed Management Area (California).

Arundo donax - Invasive Alien Plant Species of Virginia (PDF | 230 KB)
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation. Natural Heritage Program; Virginia Native Plant Society.


Weed Control in Natural Areas in the Western United States: Giant Reed (2013; PDF | 220 KB)
University of California. Weed Research and Information Center.

Giant Reed, Arundo donax (Poaceae)
University of California, Riverside. Center for Invasive Species Research.

Giant Reed
University of California, Santa Barbara. Riparian Invasion Research Laboratory.

Invasive Plant Atlas of the MidSouth - Giant Reed
Mississippi State University. GeoResources Institute.

Arundo donax - Giant Reed Invades Southern Nevada (PDF | 121 KB)
University of Nevada - Reno. Cooperative Extension.


Arundo donax (Giant Reed)
East African Network for Taxonomy.

Arundo donax - Plants of Hawaii (PDF | 21 KB)
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk.

Arundo donax
Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk.

Giant Reed
Plant Conservation Alliance. Alien Plant Working Group.

Giant Reed - Practical Guidebook to the Control of Invasive and Aquatic Wetland Plants of the San Francisco Bay-Delta Region
San Francisco Estuary Institute.

Arundo donax
Santa Margarita and San Luis Rey Watersheds Weed Management Area.


Giessow, J., J. Casanova, R. Leclerc, R. MacArthur, G. Fleming, J. Giessow (Else). 2011. Arundo donax (giant reed): Distribution and Impact Report (PDF | 12.8 MB). Agreement No. 06-374-559-0, State Water Resources Control Board. California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC).

Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Arundo donax. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Mariani, C., R. Cabrini, A. Danin, P. Piffanelli, A. Fricano, S. Gomarasca, M. Dicandilo, F. Grassi & C. Soave. 2010. Origin, diffusion and reproduction of the giant reed (Arundo donax L.): a promising weedy energy crop. Annals of Applied Biology. 157: 191-202.

Polunin, O. & A. Huxley. 1987. Flowers of the Mediterranean. Hogarth Press, London.

Robbins, W.W., M.K. Bellue and W.S. Ball. 1951. Weeds of California. Calif. Dept. of Agric., Sacramento. 55.

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Last Modified: Mar 20, 2015
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