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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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  • 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).

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)

Impact: 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

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

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


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

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

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

Texas Invasives Database - Arundo donax

The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Species of the Galveston Bay Area - Giant Reed, Giant Cane
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Galveston Bay Estuary Program; Houston Advanced Research Center (HARC).

Invasive Species Compendium - Arundo donax
CAB International.

Plantwise Technical Factsheet - Giant Reed (Arundo donax)
CABI. Plantwise Knowledge Bank.

Global Invasive Species Database - Arundo donax (grass)
IUCN. Species Survival Commission. Invasive Species Specialist Group.

Keys and Fact Sheets: Arundo donax (Giant Reed)
East African Network for Taxonomy.

Federal Government

U.S. National Plant Germplasm System - Arundo donax
USDA. ARS. National Genetic Resources Program. GRIN-Global.

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 and Energy.

Invasive Plants: Other Invasive Plants - Giant Reed
Queensland Business and Industry Portal (Australia).

State Government

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.
See also: Weeds in Natural Areas for more information sheets

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

Invasive Species: Giant Reed
University of California, Santa Barbara. Marine Science Institute. Riparian Invasions Research Laboratory.

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


Plants of Hawaii - Arundo donax (Jan 2003; PDF | 21 KB)
Starr Environmental.
See also: Species reports for selected non-native plants on Maui, Hawaii


Giessow, J., J. Casanova, R. Leclerc, R. MacArthur, G. Fleming, J. Giessow (Else). 2011. Arundo donax (giant reed): Distribution and Impact Report. 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: Sep 15, 2018
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