Invasive SpeciesEuropean common reed

Phragmites australis
FOUND by Applebrook Farm
South Portland
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Charlene Brogan
Peer reviewed by
Field Notes
This patch of European Common Reed was found on the side of the road between a parking lot and an area that appears to be a leach bed for a septic system.
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
The measuring tape tucked into the reeds is set at 6' and demonstrates the reeds are much taller than 6'.
Photo of my evidence.
The pale green leaves are wide and arranged alternately. The stems are round.
Photo of my evidence.
The flowers are age faded, large feathery bunches at the end of the stem at the end of September.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Phragmites australis
Common name:
European common reed
Sampling method: 
Time search
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.623000 °
W -70.327000 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
Broadway, So. Portland
Trip date: 
Wed, 2010-09-22 02:10
Town or city: 
South Portland
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey
Fore River


Yes, that leach bed is probably feeding the reeds as you suggested!

I think the phrag mayb be pretty much as large as it will get in that one spot. The road is on one side and mowed areas surround it. Maybe it has a path of escape going away from the road if that area isn't mowed very much. I'm sure seeds will spread and find some more areas to start up.

Great idea to bring that measuring tape with you! Nice piece of evidence.

Sounds like that phrag might be capitalizing on the extra nutrients from the leaching field....

It'd be interesting to measure the area the stand is taking up each year to see its expansion. My prediction is that it'll increase by 6+ feet or more (!!) each growing season as the stalks lay down and deposit seeds. Hmm. What's your prediction?