Arundo donax is classified as a tall perennial cane plant or reed. It is a member of the Poaceae (grass and bamboo) family.
It is called by several common names such as Giant reed, Elephant grass, Carrizo, Arundo, and Giant cane.
It grows best in a wetland environment, and has been successfully planted all over the world.
Unfortunately, it has been somewhat too successful in some places as it has an invasive root system. These roots can prevent other plant life from growing in the same area because of how tightly bound the root fibers are as they spread.
Scientists have begun growing the reed as a possible energy crop, as a sustainable biofuel. Arundo donax also has potential for phytoremediation; a plant used to clean air, soil, and water of contaminants.
Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Giant Reed
Arundo donax is unable to be grown from seed, but spreads by an underground root system.
As the roots spread, clones of the main plant grow along with it. The plant grows much more quickly than surrounding plants and can easily outcompete them if left to run wild.
Giant reed grows best in wet soils. But can be grown in gravel or heavy clay soils, this can be beneficial as the root system will not spread as quickly.
A moderate watering schedule is recommended for the plant for the best growth. In more arid conditions the plant will simply die back, and regrow when its water needs are met.
Propagation: Seed, sown in containers in a cold frame in spring or bydivisionin early summer
How to Prune: Leaves can be cut off when they die back in late autumn
Pests: Usually pest free
Diseases: Usually pest free
Can Attract: Birds
Best Garden Use: Container, Screen, Specimen, Winter interest
Closely Related Species: Grasses.
Miscellaneous: Invasive, Entices birdlife to the garden, Attractive foliage, Non-native to North America, Naturalizing, Wetlands plant, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers, Attractive flowers / blooms