Reeds are a cane-like perennial grass that commonly grows from 12 to 16 feet tall.
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Common reed is a cane-like perennial grass that commonly grows from 12 to 16 feet tall, forming dense stands. Stems are round and hollow with flat leaves along its length. Leaves are long (up to 24 inches by 2 inches wide) and gradually taper to a point. The seed head is at the end of the stem and is multi-branched, 8 to 16 inches long. Silky hairs along the flowers axis give a silky appearance. Common reed can propagate from seeds or from it's creeping rhizomes.

The giant reed is a tall, cane-like perennial grass that can grow to over 20 feet in height. It is native to India and was introduced into the U.S. in the early 1800's. Arundo was used for erosion control because its fleshy creeping rootstock forms a compact tough fibrous root mass that penetrates deeply into the soil. Arundo is fast growing, out competes most other vegetation, and forms dense monoculture stands. Leaves are elongate, 1-2 inches wide and a foot long.

Flowers appear in August and September, are 2 feet long, plume like, and stand erect. Reproduction of giant reed is primarily vegetative, through rhizomes which root and sprout readily. Arundo often chokes river and stream corridors, out competes native plants, destroys native wildlife habitat,complicates flood control measures, increases the potential for wildfires, and increases soil/aquifer water loss through evapotranspiration.

Reeds Control Options


Reeds can be cut and removed but is difficult to control physically because it can reestablish from seeds and rhizomes.


The active ingredients that have been successful in treating cattails include glyphosate (G), imazapyr (E) E = excellent, G = good

Resources: Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University

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Products to Control Reeds

Gull wing

GullWing contains the active ingredient, imazapyr, which inhibits the plant enzyme AHAS (acetohydroxyaced synthase). Habitat is a systemic herbicide that is effective on post-emergent floating and emergent aquatic vegetation. Imazapyr is effective at low-volume rates and does not contain heavy metals, organochlorides or phosphates, making it safe to humans and livestock. GullWing requires the use of a spray adjuvant when applying on post-emergent vegetation.

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