Priority: - Control
Identification and Reproduction
- Reed canarygrass is a perennial grass that forms a rhizomatous sod layer.
- Stems are hollow and can grow upto 2 m tall.
- When in full bloom, inflorescences are purple in colour. Overtime they will appear straw-like in colour. They grow in dense, branched clusters.
- Leaf blades are often green but in certain conditions may be variegated. Leaf baldes also spread from stems are at right angle.
- This aggressive grass is fast spreading through long lasting seeds and thick rhizomes.
Habitat & Ecology
- This grass often forms along edges of lakes and streams in open areas.
- It is capable of withstanding flood and drought conditions
- It drastically changes the ecological system. Can alter stream flow and increase bank sedimentation.
- Reed canarygrass prevents the establishment of deep rooting species.
- Monocultures overtake entire wetland communities.
- Also seen to obstruct salmon migration paths.
- Pulling is effective for small populations, but will need to be repeated over several years.
- Mowing prior to seed set to prevent seed production and dispersal.
- Digging the plants may also eradicate reed canary grass. Ensure that root mass and fragments are removed to prevent regrowth.
- Be sure to clean all equipment and clothing of potential fragments and seeds.
- In cases with a large population of reed canary grass consider solarization after mechanical removal; using cardboard, tarp, or mulch to cover the root system and block sunlight. It is suggested to allow surface cover for at least one growing season.
- Do not compost; plant fragments should be removed, bagged and transported to disposal site.
Download the Metro Vancouver's Best Management Practices for Reed Canarygrass here.
Header photo (Robert Flogaus-Faust).