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Phragmites (Common european weed)


Phragmites australis subspecies australis (also known as the European common reed) is an invasive plant causing damage to Ontario's biodiversity, wetlands and beaches. Invasive Phragmites is a perennial grass that has been damaging ecosystems in Ontario for decades. It is not clear how it was transported to North America from its native home in Eurasia.

Invasive Phragmites is an aggressive plant that spreads quickly and outcompetes native species for water and nutrients. It releases toxins from its roots into the soil to hinder the growth of and kill surrounding plants. While it prefers areas of standing water, its roots can grow to extreme lengths, allowing it to survive in relatively dry areas.

If you find Phragmites:

  • Report sightings of phragmites to the INVADING SPECIES HOTLINE at 1-800-563-7711 or online at They will confirm whether or not it is phragmites.
  • Report the occurrence of this invasive species to your municipality as well. Municipal staff need to be aware of issues, including phragmites, that may impact the environment.

More information:

Go to the Ministry of Natural Resources website for more detailed information on this invasive species.