Reed canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) is a hardy, aggressive competitor to native wetland grasses and trees throughout Minnesota. It emerges early and can grow to a height of 9 feet, giving it potential to shade out other species. While reed canarygrass is still planted in some areas for commercial feed, it remains a target for removal in areas where it has overtaken all other plants.
Some species of native reed canarygrass have a history of traditional indigenous use, for the art of basket-weaving. In the spirit of preserving these culturally important native varieties, MITPPC researchers are developing tools to allow land managers to quickly distinguish between native and invasive reed canarygrass.