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Giant Reed

Scientific Name

Arundo donax L. (ITIS)

Common Name

Giant reed, Spanish reed

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)


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

Giant reed

Giant reed, clasping leaf bases in Tift County, Georgia


Photo by Chris Evans; University of Illinois

Find more images


  • AgResearch Magazine - Tiny Insects Take a Big Bite Out of Giant Reed

    • Oct 2016
    • USDA. Agricultural Research Service.

    • Along the Rio Grande in Texas, tiny insects are taking a big bite out of an invasive weed that competes for limited water resources vital to agriculture and native vegetation. Several years ago, ARS scientists released two insect species as part of a biocontrol program to kill giant reed (Arundo donax).

Distribution / Maps / Survey Status


Selected Resources

The section below contains highly relevant resources for this species, organized by source.

Council or Task Force
Federal Government
International Government
State and Local Government