Impact of Invasive Species Varies with Latitude

A study of native vs. non-native subspecies of Phragmites australis (Common Reed) indicated that the native subspecies was more susceptible to insect attack than was the non-native subspecies in North America.  This difference was especially pronounced at low latitudes, giving the non-native sub-species, which is highly invasive in our coastal areas, a greater opportunity to invade in the South.


Larger forms, left in photo are the non-native.  The native form is shorter, has smaller flowers that are light brown to beige in color, and the plants are often light green to yellow green.  The larger form shown here has much wider leaves, bigger darker flowers, and the plants were an additional 3 feet in height.

The following are two great resources to tell the difference between our native Phragmites and the more abundant and robust non-native Phragmites: