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

Common reedScientific name: Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. (ITIS)

Common name: Common reed

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Selected Resources

Native To: Native to the U.S., but the more invasive strains originated in Europe (Tulbure et al. 2007)

Date of U.S. Introduction: Invasive European strains probably introduced during the 1800s (Saltonstall 2002)

Means of Introduction: Possibly through ships' ballast (Saltonstall 2002)

Impact: Crowds out native species (Tewksbury et al. 2002)

Current U.S. Distribution:



Selected Resources:

Council or Task Force

Fact Sheet: Phragmites (Apr 2016; PDF | 1.2 MB)
Alberta Invasive Species Council (Canada).
See also: Fact Sheets for more information about individual invasive species, including those listed as "Prohibited Noxious" and "Noxious" under the Alberta Weed Control Act

Invasive Plants of Ohio: Fact Sheet 5 - Common Reed Grass (Phragmites) (PDF | 325 KB)
Ohio Invasive Plants Council.
See also: Invasive Plants of Ohio for worst invasive plant species identified in Ohio's natural areas

Priority Species: Phragmites
Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office. Washington Invasive Species Council.


Alaska Exotic Plants Information Clearinghouse (AKEPIC): Species Biography - Common Reed (Feb 17, 2011; PDF | 262 KB)
University of Alaska - Anchorage. Alaska Center for Conservation Science.
See also: Non-Native Plant Species List for additional factsheets (species biographies) and species risk assessment reports of non-native species present in Alaska and also non-native species currently not recorded in Alaska (potential invasives).

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England (IPANE) - Common Reed
University of Georgia. Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health.

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

Phragmites Basics
Great Lakes Commission. Great Lakes Phragmites Collaborative.

New York Invasive Species Information - Common Reed
New York Invasive Species Clearinghouse.

TISI Inventory - Common Reed
Texas State University System. Texas Invasive Species Institute.

Invasive Species Compendium - Phragmites australis
CAB International.

Plantwise Technical Factsheet - Common Reed (Phragmites australis)
CABI. Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Global Invasive Species Database - Phragmites australis (grass)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Invaders Factsheet: Invasive Phragmites
Ontario's Invading Species Awareness Program (Canada).

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Phragmites australis
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

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

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

National Exotic Marine and Estuarine Species Information System (NEMESIS): Chesapeake Bay Introduced Species Database - Phragmites australis
Smithsonian Institution. Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Marine Invasions Research Lab.

State Government

Aquatic Invasive Species: Common/Giant Reed (Sep 2005; PDF | 115 KB)
Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Species for exotic animal and plant pests invading Indiana, causing economic and visual damage

Field Guide: Invasive - Common Reed
Missouri Department of Conservation.

Have You Seen This Reed? Common Reed (Phragmites australis) (PDF | 225KB)
Manchester Urban Ponds Restoration Program (New Hampshire).

Invasive Plants in Pennsylvania: Common Reed (PDF | 671 KB)
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for plant species (trees, shrubs, vines, herbs and aquatic plants) that have impacted the state's natural lands

Class B Noxious Weed: Common Reed
Washington State Noxious Weed Control Board.

Noxious Weed Fact Sheet: Common Reed (Feb 2017; PDF | 397 KB)
Thurston County Noxious Weed Control (Washington).
See also: Noxious Weed Fact Sheets for more species


Maine Invasive Plants Bulletin: Common Reed
University of Maine. Cooperative Extension.
See also: Maine Invasive Plants & Entire Series for entire series of 22 fact sheets and invasive plants brochure (available in HTML/PDF or for purchase)

Aquatic Invasive Species in the Chesapeake Bay - Phragmites (Sep 2013; PDF | 134 KB)
Maryland Sea Grant.
See also: Six Species of Concern for more fact sheets

Phragmites: Native or Not
Michigan State University Extension. Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

Introduced Species Summary Project - Common Reed
Columbia University. Center for Environmental Research and Conservation.

Ohio Perennial & Biennial Weed Guide - Common Reed
Ohio State University. Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

Invasive Plant Fact Sheet - Common Reed (Nov 2011; PDF | 132 KB)
University of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Flora Project of Morris Arboretum.
See also: Invasive Plant Fact Sheets for additional invasive plants in Pennsylvania

Factsheet: Phragmites
Pennsylvania State University. Pennsylvania Sea Grant.
See also: Aquatic Invasive Species: Resources for additional species information

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

Invasive Species Fact Sheets - Common Reed
University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.


Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Phragmites australis. [Accessed Sep 10, 2014].

Saltonstall, K. 2002. Cryptic invasion by a non-native genotype of the common reed, Phragmites australis, into North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 99(4):2445-2449.

Tewksbury, L., R. Casagrande, B. Blossey, P. Hafliger, and M. Schwarzlander. 2002. Potential for biological control of Phragmites australis in North America. Biological Control 23(2):191-212.

Tulbure, M.G., C.A. Johnston, and D.L. Auger. 2007. Rapid invasion of a Great Lakes coastal wetland by non-native Phragmites australis and Typha. Journal of Great Lakes Research 33(sp3):269-279.

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Last Modified: Aug 25, 2018
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