Arundo donax

Arundo donax L.

Common Names: Giant Reed, Carrizo

Family: Poaceae

Habit: Arundo donax grows as clumping perennial to 6 m in height when flowering with stems arising from rhizomes. The leaves are arranged alternately to 75 cm in length (usually shorter) and 7 cm wide with a basal sheath extending along the stem. Leaf margin scabrous and slightly undulate. At the point of divergence of the leaf sheath to the leaf blade is a membranous ligule. The leaves are parallel veined and the end portions of the leaf blade are involute.

The zygomorphic flowers are arranged in a dense terminal panicle made of appressed spikelets.  At the base of each spikelet are 2 structures called glumes. The first glume small and the second larger. In each spikelet there are flowering structures each is subtended by 2 additional structures (lemma and palea).  There are 3-5 florets with 3 stamens and a superior ovary each with a single locule and seed.  The fruit is a caryopsis. Florets covered in long silky pubescence.

Habitat: Arundo donax grows in Human Altered environments (waste areas, abandoned fields, old farms) especially those that are wet at least part of the year.

Distribution: Arundo donax is NOT native to the Lucayan Archipelago. It is native to the Mediterranean region. It is not wide spreads as an invasive species throughout the southern United States, Mexico south to South America.

Medicinal/Cultural/Economic usage: Arundo donax is not known to be used medicinally in the Lucayan Archipelago.