Flowering plants. Copyright Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt

Plants. Photographer Malcolm Storey, England

Spikelets. Photographer Steve Hurst, USDA NRCS Plants Database

Ligules. Photographer Malcolm Storey, England

Line drawings:  Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States.

Common Name

Spanish Reed, Giant Reed, Bamboo, Danubian Reed, Elephant Grass




Introduced perennial grass to 8m tall. Leaves alternating up the stems, with a sheath at the base, ligule a membrane with a fringe of hairs. Leaves alternating up the stems, 5-100cm long, 10-80mm wide, hairless. Spikelets 8-15mm long, 2-7 flowered, each floret with a single short awn 1-3mm long, in a light brown or purplish dense panicle turning beige to whitish, 30-70cm long at the tops of the flowering stems. Noxious weed throughout NSW.

Differs from Phragmites australis in that the plants are bamboo-like, the outer bract enclosing the flower (lemma) is hairy, and the axis to which the florets are attached is hairless.

PlantNET description:

ausgrass2 description with photos and line drawings:

Weeds of Australia Biosecurity Queensland Edition description: