Pest Information

Reed Canarygrass

Reed Canarygrass

  • Latin Name: Phalaris Arundinacea
  • Common Name: Reed Canarygrass
  • Other Names: Lady-grass, spires, doggers, sword grass, ladies'-laces, bride's-laces, London-lace

Pest Details

Reed Canarygrass
Reed Canarygrass


Native to Eurasia, and now found throughout the northern United States and Canada.


A perennial grass weed that reproduces by seeds, but most of its ability to spread is by rhizomes, either from its growing location or in soils that contain rhizomes and are relocated. This is an aggressive grass that may grow up to 5 feet tall and fill in solid areas, particularly in wet areas. It's fibrous root system also has the thick, creeping rhizomes.


Mature plants up to 5 feet tall, with bluish-green stems. As the foliage dies in the winter the stems turn straw-colored, and remain standing well into the winter. Leaf blades are flat and up to 15 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. They lack hairs but have a rough texture along the edges. Flower spikes and seedheads are produced by mid-summer. The seedhead is up to 10 inches long, densely packed with the many branches, and is a distinctive yellowish-brown color. Seedheads extend well beyond the ends of the leaves.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

This is a grass problem primarily in wet soils, such as roadside drainage areas or irrigation ditches. It does not survive well with close mowing or cultivation. It is a perennial and will spread by rhizomes and clipped rhizomes.

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