Phalaris arundinacea 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Poales Poaceae

Scientific Name: Phalaris arundinacea L.
Infra-specific Taxa Assessed:
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Reed Canary-grass, Reed Canary Grass
French Alpiste faux roseau
Baldingera arundinacea (L.) Dumort.
Digraphis arundinacea (L.) Trin.
Phalaroides arundinacea (L.) Rauschert
Typhoides arundinacea (L.) Moench
Taxonomic Source(s): WCSP. 2016. World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Facilitated by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Available at:
Taxonomic Notes: P. arundinacea includes a variety of taxa, including ssp. rotgesii which is endemic to Corsica, some authors treat this taxon as a species in which case it would probably be considered to be of conservation concern.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2014
Date Assessed: 2013-02-27
Assessor(s): Lansdown, R.V.
Reviewer(s): Smith, K.
Contributor(s): Mani, S.

This species is classed as Least Concern as it is widespread with stable populations and does not face any major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:P. arundinacea has a circumboreal distribution, from Europe south to North Africa and east through the Middle East, the Caucasus, Siberia, Kazakhstan and Mongolia to China, Japan and the Korean Peninsula, as well as throughout most of North America. It is considered to have been introduced to Australia, New Zealand, Central America, South Africa, Mexico, South America, the West Indies, the Mascarene Islands and Hawaii.
Countries occurrence:
Afghanistan; Albania; Andorra; Austria; Belgium; Bhutan; Bosnia and Herzegovina; Bulgaria; Canada (Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland I, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward I., Qu├ębec, Saskatchewan, Yukon); China (Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang); Croatia; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Ethiopia; Finland; France (Corsica, France (mainland)); Georgia (Abkhaziya, Adzhariya, Gruziya); Germany; Gibraltar; Greece (East Aegean Is., Greece (mainland), Kriti); Guernsey; Holy See (Vatican City State); Hungary; Iceland; India (Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Meghalaya, West Bengal); Iran, Islamic Republic of; Iraq; Ireland; Isle of Man; Italy (Italy (mainland), Sardegna, Sicilia); Japan; Jersey; Kazakhstan; Kenya; Korea, Republic of; Kyrgyzstan; Latvia; Lebanon; Liechtenstein; Lithuania; Luxembourg; Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of; Madagascar; Malta; Monaco; Mongolia; Montenegro; Nepal; Netherlands; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal (Portugal (mainland)); Romania; Russian Federation (Altay, Amur, Buryatiya, Central Asian Russia, Chita, Eastern Asian Russia, European Russia, Irkutsk, Kamchatka, Khabarovsk, Krasnoyarsk, Kuril Is., Magadan, Primoryi, Sakhalin, Tuva, West Siberia, Yakutiya); Rwanda; San Marino; Serbia; Slovakia; Slovenia; South Africa (Eastern Cape Province - Introduced, Free State - Introduced, Western Cape - Introduced); Spain (Spain (mainland)); Sri Lanka; Sweden; Switzerland; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Turkey (Turkey-in-Asia, Turkey-in-Europe); Turkmenistan; Ukraine (Krym, Ukraine (main part)); United Kingdom (Great Britain, Northern Ireland); United States (Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaiian Is. - Introduced, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming); Uzbekistan
Algeria; Australia (New South Wales, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia); Colombia; Egypt; Mauritius; Mexico; New Zealand (North Is., South Is.)
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


This species is widespread and abundant throughout its known range. There is no detailed information available on population size.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

P. arundinacea will occur in most wetland habitats, often behaving as an aggressive colonist of disturbed wetlands, it is typically found in wet pasture, the margins of rivers, streams, ditches, canals, ponds and lakes.

Systems:Terrestrial; Freshwater
Continuing decline in area, extent and/or quality of habitat:Unknown

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

CNCPP (1998) states that P. arundinacea produces nutritious, palatable, succulent herbage for pasture, silage, and hay. It is the most popular species for irrigation with pollution control sewage effluent from municipal and industrial sources as practice. It has also been planted on stream beds, gully bottoms, sloughs, pond banks, swamplands. Seed is used for birdseed. Snyder (1992) states that prairie chickens use it for cover in winter; however, commercial value is limited as seeds of the inflorescence shatter asynchronously (Baltensperger and Kalton 1958, in Lyons, 1998) and do not germinate readily or regularly (Griffith and Harrison 1954, in Lyons, 1998). CNCPP (1998) notes that P. arundinacea is also used for cover by muskrats and fish, and farmers have also used it for goose grazing areas (adopted from

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no known past, ongoing, or future threats to this species

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no conservation measures in place and none needed.

Citation: Lansdown, R.V. 2014. Phalaris arundinacea. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T164064A1021826. . Downloaded on 26 May 2018.
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