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Invasive phragmites provides some erosion control protection and
habitat for wildlife. However, due to its invasive nature and
negative impacts to native plants it should be eradicated where
Invasive phragmites harms the environment by reducing wildlife
habitats, decreasing plant diversity, and altering water levels by
trapping sediments. In addition, invasive phragmites can be a fire
hazard. Stands along roadsides can obstruct the view of drivers,
leading to automobile accidents, and stands along shorelines can
reduce property values by blocking lake views, and restricting
access for swimming, fishing and hunting.
A native phragmites (Phragmites australis subsp. americanus)
once grew abundantly in North America, but currently is rare
because it has been displaced by invasive phragmites.
Invasive phragmites plants grow up to
15 feet tall and form grayish-purple, feather-like flower heads in
late July. These plumes are five to 16 inches long and develop dark
brown seed heads at maturity. Invasive phragmites leaves have
sheaths that are wrapped tightly around the stalk, and leaf blades
that are rough-margined, flat, and linear in shape with a
gray-green color. At the base of each leaf blade, a fringe of hairy
ligules is present with no auricle clasping the stalk.
To distinguish native phragmites from invasive phragmites,
closely observe the plant's stalk. Stalks of invasive phragmites
plants are rigid, rough, dull, tan in color, and hollow inside.
Native phragmites plants develop non-rigid, smooth, lustrous
reddish-colored stalks during the growing season.
A. The entire
population should be treated as phragmites is invasive.
A. Once water
temperatures are around sixty degrees or warmer.
treatments are generally required.
A. It really depends
on the product you choose. For most vegetation, control will take
approximately 2 weeks however, tissue damage may be evident within
2 to 4 days with liquid formulations. Some products are slower
acting with results taking 30 days or more to achieve.
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