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German wasp | Vespula germanica

German wasp

Vespula germanica

Coral bush | Ardisia crenata

Coral bush

Ardisia crenata

Purple loosestrife | Lythrum salicaria

Purple loosestrife

Lythrum salicaria

Pom pom weed | Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Pom pom weed

Campuloclinium macrocephalum

Canarybird bush | Crotalaria agatiflora

Canarybird bush

Crotalaria agatiflora

Peanut butter cassia | Senna didymobotrya

Peanut butter cassia

Senna didymobotrya

Rubber vine | Cryptostegia grandiflora

Rubber vine

Cryptostegia grandiflora

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Environmental Programmes

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Giant reed

Arundo donax

Common name:

Giant reed

Scientific name:

Arundo donax (Poaceae)

Alternative common names:

Bamboo reed; Spanish reed (English); Spaanse riet (Afrikaans)

A tall and vigorous aquatic reed growing 2-6m high spreading from horizontal rootstocks. Pale green to bluish green leaves and leaf sheaths that are persistent on the stems. Cream or brown, compact, erect, spear-shaped silky inflorescences appear at the tip all year round.

Additional Info

  • Where does this species come from?

    Mediterranean

    What is its invasive status in South Africa?

    Existing legislation: CARA 2002 – Category 1 NEMBA – Category 1b

    Where in South Africa is it a problem?

    Throughout South Africa in wetlands.

    How does it spread?

    Horizontally from rootstocks.

    Why is it a problem?

    Competes with and replaces indigenous species. It forms very dense stands on riverbanks and in riverbeds which results in the narrowing of water channels, increased siltation and the exclusion of smaller and less vigorous riverbank species.

    What does it look like?

    General description: A tall and robust reed reaching a height of 2-6m with pale green long and slender leaves. Leaves: Pale green to bluish green leaves long and slender in profile and evenly spaced along the stem. Flowers: Cream or brown, compact, erect, spear-shaped silky inflorescences appear throughout the year. Fruit/seeds: None.

    Does the plant have any uses?

    Used as an ornamental for screening, ceilings and musical instruments such as wind chimes.

    Plant me instead alternatives

    Common reed (Phragmites australis), east coast broomgrass (Miscanthus capensis), wireleafe broomgrass (Miscanthus junceus), bulrush (Typha capensis).

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General News Updates

2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasio…

26-02-2019

This is your invitation to South Africa's 2019 National Symposium on Biological Invasions. The convention is hosted by the Centre for Invasion Biology (CIB), University of Stellenbosch, and the Biolo... Read more

2019 Invasive Species Training

22-01-2019

During the past five years (2014-2018), ISSA invasive species trainers have trained 4 000 in the identification of invasive species and laws pertaining to invasive species across South Africa.  ... Read more

Alien Grass Working Group

04-09-2018

Who are we? The South African National Alien Grass Working Group was jointly initiated by the South African Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and the Centre for Excellence in Invasion Biology (C·I·B) in... Read more

Permits for planting indigenous Cynodon?

01-03-2018

On 16 February, 2018, South Africa's Department of Environmental Affairs issued amendments to the regulations and lists relating to the National List of Invasive Species.  Updates to the draft&n... Read more

Invasive species training 2018 dates released

28-02-2018

Interested in invasive species?  How much do you know about NEMBA invasive species compliance for landowners and organs of state? The South African Green Industries Council (SAGIC) have released... Read more

Communications post for Africa advertised

25-01-2018

The Nature Conservancy has advertised a brand new post:  Communications Manager, Africa Region. Knowledge of invasive species and water would be an asset in this post. See details below:    Job Titl... Read more