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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 (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:

Council or Task Force

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.


Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER) - Arundo donax
USDA. FS. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry.

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)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Federal Government

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

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

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

International Government

Weeds in Australia - Giant Reed (Arundo donax)
Australian Government. Department of the Environment.

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

State Government

Arundo donax
Ventura County Weed Management Area (California).

Noxious Weed Species - Giant Reed
Colorado Department of Agriculture. Conservation Services Division. Noxious Weed Program.


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.

AQUAPLANT - Giant Reed
Texas A&M University. AgriLife Extension Service. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences.


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

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Giant Reed, Giant Cane
Galveston Bay Estuary Program (Texas).

Plants of Hawaii - Arundo donax (Jan 2003; PDF | 21 KB)
Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk.

Giant Reed
Plant Conservation Alliance. Alien Plant Working Group.


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) Prepared by the California Invasive Plant Council for the State Water Resources Control Board. Agreement No. 06-374-559-0.

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, and 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. and A. Huxley. 1987. Flowers of the Mediterranean. London: Hogarth Press.

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Last Modified: May 18, 2016
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