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ARUNDO donax

Image of Arundo donax

Gerald L. Klingaman

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

ARUNDO donax

Plant Common Name

Giant Reed

General Description

Giant reed is a large, evergreen or deciduous, perennial grass with thick, hollow, cane-like stems and long, arching, green to gray-green leaves. In late summer it produces feathery plumes of light green to purplish flowers that mature to silver. Originally from southern Europe, giant reed has been widely planted and become naturalized in temperate and sub-tropical regions worldwide. It spreads by underground rhizomes and is potentially invasive in tropical and subtropical regions where it may also spread by seed.

Although it tolerates most conditions including alkaline soil and seaside exposures, this sun-loving plant achieves its greatest height and vigor near fresh water. Use it as an architectural accent or screen. It can also be grown in containers or under cover.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    6'-30' / 1.8m - 9.1m

  • Width

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall, Fall, Late Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Europe

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Purple, Light Green, Silver

  • Fruit Color

    Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green, Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Bold

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Cutflower, Dried Flower/Everlasting, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical, Water Gardens

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    Yes

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes