Plant Guide > Grasses > Wood Reed Grass

Wood Reed Grass


Cinna arundinacea L.

Leafy stems of Wood Reed-grass arrest the attention before the ample panicles are visible, for, although this grass does not bloom until late summer, the reed-like stems, frequently shoulderhigh, and bearing broad, soft leaves, are common in July in wooded swamps and by shaded streams.

When the many-flowered panicles first appear they are pale green, contracted, and almost silky; later, as the flowers open, the multitude of hair-like branches spread from the flowering-head and the spikelets are often tinged with purple, while as the seeds ripen the panicles are again contracted as before blossoming.

Wood Reed-grass. Cinna arundinacea L.

Perennial.

Stem 2-6 ft. tall, leafy, not branched, erect. Ligule 1"-2" long. Leaves 6'-15' long, 3"-7" wide, flat, roughish.

Panicle 6'-15' long, densely flowered, rather narrow, green or purple. Spikelets 1-flowered, about 2 1/2" long. Scales 3; outer scales rough, unequal, acute; flowering scale 2-toothed, usually bearing a minute awn between the teeth. Rachilla sometimes slightly prolonged. Palet 1-nerved. Stamen 1.

Moist woods, thickets, and swamps. July to September.

Newfoundland to the Northwest Territory, south to Alabama and Texas.