~Phragmites australis~
The Common Reed
A stand of Phragmites australis
Phragmites australis, the common reed, appears to be taking over many of our New England wetlands  like Kampoosa Bog in Stockbridge and Belle Isle marsh in Revere, towns in Western and Eastern Massachusetts. The purpose of these pages is to provide some historical and economic background to a plant that today has become the focus of much research directed at controlling its spread in New England and other regions of the United States and Canada.

   I. What is Phragmites australis?
         More about a plant you have probably seen many times...
   II. Why is it considered invasive and how long has it been around New England and elsewhere?
         There's disagreement, but here's what people are thinking...
   III.  What is it used for?
         If you think of it as just a pain, you might find some surprises here...

    IV. Links to Some Interesting and Educational Wetlands Sites
         These are not just about Phragmites issues...

 V. If you have an interesting fact about Phragmites...
         I am trying to collect some and would also welcome any depictions of the plant in the fine arts, crafts, etc. 

Please address any questions or comments on these pages to Leslie Driscoll who would always like to learn more about the plant.

Photo of a stand of Phragmites australis at Nauset Marsh, Cape Cod, Massachusetts courtesy of Dr. Lawrence Kaplan

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These pages were last updated on May 24, 1999. Happy Birthday to Dad.