Giant Reed   Leave a comment

Giant Reed In The Tanque Verde Wash — Image by kenne

Giant reed is an invasive grass common to riparian areas, streams, and rivers throughout the Southwest.
It thrives in moist soils (moderately saline or freshwater), sand dunes, and wetland areas. 

Giant reed forms dense, monocultural stands and often crowds out native vegetation for soil moisture, nutrients, and space.
When dry, it is highly flammable and becomes a fire danger in riparian habitats unaccustomed to sustaining fire.
It uses far more water than native vegetation, thus disturbing the natural flood regime.

Shoots and stems grow rapidly (as much as 4 inches per day during spring), outpacing native plant growth.
Shallow parts of the root system along stream edges are susceptible to undercutting, which contributes to bank
collapse and spreading of reproductive parts downstream. Giant reed grows back quickly following a fire,
thereby increasing its dominance over native riparian species.

I spotted this growth out in the Tanque Verde wash while walking the trail near the wash the other morning.

— kenne

Source: Forest Service

 

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