carrizo, arundo, giant reed, oboe cane
Could be confused with
bamboo, various grasses when juvenile
Old World (Mediterranean)
Species commonly cultivated
Arundo donax L. (northern Africa, Asia, eastern Europe)
introduced into and common throughout the New World
Arundo donax is a significant invasive weed throughout the world; listed as a noxious weed in numerous countries.
Very tall (up to 6 m) emergent grass. Rhizome creeping, hard and thick, with knots. Leaves cauline, up to 100 cm long and 7 cm wide; rounded at base and tapering to a point; ligules large, papery. Inflorescence a large (up to 60 cm long), dense, erect and feathery, whitish to brown panicle; spikelets solitary, stalked, each with 2-7 flowers. Caryopses dispersed by wind and water.
The cultivar Arundo donax 'Variegata' is smaller than A. donax (to 3 m), with cream and green variegated leaves.
wetlands and riparian habitats
Arundo donax can have a large effect on riparian ecosystems, where it can increase fires, accelerate erosion, and replace native species with poor habitat. Arundo donax 'Variegata' is not known to be weedy and rarely flowers.