6 Introduction to Phragmites What is invasive Phragmites? Phragmites australis subspecies australis (also known as the European common reed) is an invasive grass that grows into dense monocultures that can grow as high as 5 m. Stands of Phragmites severely impair wetlands, threaten biodiversity, reduce habitat, damage municipal and private property, and impede access to recreational activities. Phragmites has no native predators or competitors making it challenging to control. How to distinguish the native plant from the invasive? There are differences between the two; some that require experts or having the different plants side by side, which is rare. To find out more about identification and see more pictures, please visit this page on the GBF website : http://bit.ly/IDphrag Some of the more obvious differences can be seen at the base of the stalks in mature stands. Native Phragmites tend to have a red colour at the base, and be smooth. The plants in a native stand are often (but not always) more scattered. Mature stands of invasive Phragmites are very dense, and the bases of the stalks are beige in colour and feel a little rough.