Introduced as an ornamental, this new invasive plant is common in south Florida. It can occur in large stands and may easily be mistaken for the native common reed, Phragmites australis. The easiest way to tell the two is that Neyraudia does not have a ring of hairs encircling the stem just below the inflorescence, whereas Phragmites does.
Robust, reed-like perennial to 3 m (10 ft) tall, forming clumps from short, coarse rhizomes. Stems often branched and filled with soft pith.
Sheaths 10–25 cm (4–10 in) long, smooth, shining, clasping, woolly at the top with a line of collar hairs and ligule of hairs. Blades linear, flat or involute, 20–100 cm (8–39 in) long and 8–25 mm (0.3–1 in) wide, glabrous below, sparsely short-hairy above, with margins smooth or rough and midvein inconspicuous; blades often deciduous from sheaths.
In a large, terminal, hairy, branched panicle; spike-lets with 5–10 florets; florets hairy, with a short awn between two terminal teeth.
1.5–3 mm (0.06–0.12 in) long, narrowly elliptic.
Able to colonize marginal and undisturbed habitats once established in an area. Well established in the globally rare pine rockland habitats of Dade County and viewed as a threat to rare species there, especially since its high flammability promotes frequent fires, enhancing its spread. FLEPPC Category I
Text from Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards 1
View the herbarium specimen image from the University of Florida Herbarium Digital Imaging Projects.
1. Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas – Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 257. 2008.
2. Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC, 1997.
3. Invasive and Non-native Plants You Should Know – Recognition Cards, by A. Richard and V. Ramey. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 431. 2007.
4. Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida, by K. A. Langeland, J. A. Ferrell, B. Sellers, G. E. MacDonald, and R. K. Stocker. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 242. 2011.
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