Phragmites australis (Common Reed) Identification

Pulang ---> Phragmites australis --> ID

There are certain features that you can use to quickly identify Phragmites australis (Common Reed). In the USA, the more common subspecies is an invasive form, while the native form tends to be less common and robust. The images below refer to the invasive form.

Here is a youtube video that talks about how to differentiate between the two.

(1) A mature specimen is tall. This is not a small grass. Some individual culms with flowerheads will reach 5 meters in height

(2) This species tends to live in dense monotypic colonies, although of course new infestations can have solitary plants.

(3) The flowerheads when present are quite distinctive, robust in the invasive form (subp. australis), and tend to fall to one side when mature and dry.

(4) The ligules (which are at the intersection of the top surface of leaf blades and the stem) look like brown lines. Height is less than 1 mm in the invasive form, and up to 2 mm in the native form. Long thread like hairs may be present as well.

(5) The leaf sheaths of the invasive form even in the lower parts of the culm tend to clasp the stem tightly.

(6) The leaves are firm and tend to point up in younger plants.

Penulis: A. Sunjian