Phragmites communis

A highly invasive (high on The Nature Conservancy's "hit list") herbaceous grass, presumably a native species. Seen all along the highways of Connecticut, Phragmites reaches up to 20 feet tall and is easily recognized driving by at 70 miles per hour by its height, stems and fluffy grey/tan seed heads. Phragmites spreads at an incredible rate, by a variety of methods. In sparse stands of the grass, shoots that fall over become horizontal runners. Shoots and rhizomes grow from the nodes, spreading the plant far beyond its original bounds.

STEM: Brittle, bamboo-like.

HABITAT: Associated with coastal brackish water; disturbed, moist sites; along highways.

USES: Source of cellulose; in England, used for thatching.

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