Appearance: Perennial coarse cool season grass that grows 2 - 6' high. It had been especially selected for its vigor, and is one of the first to sprout in spring. Erect hairless stems.
Leaf blades: 1⁄4"-1⁄3" wide, gradually tapering, up to 10" long. It has a highly transparent ligule (a membrane where blade and sheath meet) which distinguishes it from the native bluejoint grass.
Flowers: Densely clustered single florets, green to purple changing to beige over time, blooms May to mid-June.
Roots: Reproduces vegetatively through horizontal stems growing below the soil surface, called rhizomes, creating a thick impenetrable mat at or directly below the soil surface.
- Wisconsin DNR Fact Sheet
- To distinguish reed canary grass from native reedgrasses Mistaken Identity - Invasive Plants and their Native Look-Alikes
- Reed canary grass management guide (WI DNR)