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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
Image use policy

Giant reed, clasping leaf bases in Tift County, Georgia


Photo by Chris Evans; University of Illinois

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  • Biocontrol Against a Thirsty Invasive Grass in Arid Regions of the U.S.

    • Oct 30, 2023
    • USDA. ARS. Tellus.

    • Giant reed, Arundo donax, is a large, fast-growing invasive grass that has invaded at least 100,000 acres of "riparian" habitat in the southwestern and southeastern U.S. and is present as far north as Ohio and Washington State. Watch this video to learn how ARS researchers are using biocontrol (insects) to reduce the presence of this invasive plant.

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