Common Reed

Common Reed (Phragmites australis) can rapidly form dense stands of stems which crowd out or shade native vegetation in inland and estuary wetland areas. Phragmites turns rich habitats into monocultures devoid of the diversity needed to support a thriving ecosystem. Non-native Phragmites can alter habitats by changing marsh hydrology; decreasing salinity in brackish wetlands; changes local topography; increasing fire potential; and outcompeting plants, both above and below ground. These habitat changes threaten the wildlife that depend on those wetland areas for survival (from The New York Invasive Species Clearing House).


The NY Invasive Species Clearing House, (CCE Invasive Species Program) provides information on biology and identification, impacts, prevention and control, additional resources and links to educational materials.

USDA Plant Profiles provides background information, maps of U.S. distribution, and links to selected federal, state and regional resources.

Invasive Plant Atlas of New England website has images, similar species, management options and additional links for the Common Reed, that are all related to New England and the northeast. 

Common Reed: An Invasive Wetland Plant - This 4-page PDF from the Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation & Recreation covers habitat, distribution, reproduction and management of Common Reed, and lists other resources.

Last updated October 26, 2023