E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Phalaris arundinacea var. picta
ornamental reed canarygrass
Poaceae (Grass family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Phalaris arundinacea var. picta
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Species Information

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Perennial grass from conspicuous rhizomes; stems 50-150 (200) cm tall.
Sheaths open; blades flat, 7-17 mm wide; ligules rounded, usually with irregular, jagged margins, turned backwards, short-hairy externally, 4-10 mm long.
Inflorescence a compact panicle, 7-15 (25) cm long, the branches more or less spreading at maturity; glumes slightly unequal, minutely rough and short-hairy, 3-nerved, sharp-pointed, 4.5-5 mm long; sterile lemmas hairy, brownish, 1-1.5 mm long; fertile lemmas nearly smooth, lightly 5-nerved, 3-4 mm long; paleas 2-nerved, nearly equal to the lemmas; lodicules lanceolate, about 0.5 mm long; anthers 2.5-3 mm long.
Sometimes introduced as a pasture grass. The variegated ornamental form (forma variegata [Parnell] Druce [var. picta L.]) sometimes occurs as a garden escape.

Habitat / Range

Wet meadows, ditches and lakeshores in the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; common in S BC, rare northward; circumpolar N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF and S to ME, MA, PA, VA, AL, AR, OK, NM, AZ and CA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

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