Invasive SpeciesDitch reed

Phragmites australis
FOUND by the invaders
Westbrook Maine
ID Confirmed
Quality checked by Emily S
Peer reviewed by Luci S
Field Notes
I am happy because we get to go outside and work on our project. We get to go into the tall grass and explore independently. It is also just really fun working with my friends and learning about the Phragmites plant, especially on a warm day. I smell, hear, and see: Phragmites seeds flying, the trail smells faintly of apples, I see tall Phragmites plants, and I hear the plants waving around in strong wind. We were surprised that we found a trail to the Phragmites plants, and how easily we could find them. It was surprising that there were so many plants in a developed area such as this one. We were surprised we didn’t find any water sources supplying as many plants as there were. Saying that, we expected more plants because of the seeds on the top blowing away in the wind. Some problems we ran into were: seed were sticking on us, bugs were crawling on the plant and flying around us which caused us to get distracted, and the trail was wet and muddy. Some questions we have ran into were, why do the seeds stick to your shirt? How long does it take for them to grow as tall as they were? And do they need water to grow?
A sketch of our study site.
Supporting Evidence
Photo of my evidence.
The seasonal evidence we found was that the flowery clusters faded to gold. Before the fall, the flowery clusters are a beautiful violet.
Photo of my evidence.
The plant evidence we found was that plant had grown 6 meters tall and was in large flowering clusters.
Photo of my evidence.
The stem evidence supported our conclusion because the stem was 6 meters tall, the stem was stiff, and was hollow also known as grass. Plus, it was growing straight up.
Species Observation: Species Looked For
Did you find it?: 
I think I found it
Scientific name:
Phragmites australis
Common name:
Ditch reed
Sampling method: 
Just looking around
Photo of our sampling method.
Place Studied
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Map this species
N 43.662750 °
W -70.346887 °
Observation Site Information
A photo of our study site.
Upland - Developed areas
Trip Information
Trip date: 
Mon, 2015-09-28 08:00
Town or city: 
Westbrook Maine
Type of investigation: 
Species Survey


Hi invaders,

That's a beautiful sketch of a crazy species. Thanks for sharing your find and observations. Your field notes were a joy to read, really brought me to your site. Your point about the lack of apparent water is a good one - phragmites definitely likes wet conditions - but it can tolerate a lot. An interesting mini project would be to check back at this site in the spring time - is there more water? That might tell you more about the conditions of the area since one site visit can sometimes be deceiving.

Thanks for sharing and happy observing!