Non-native reed encroaches on St. Croix River

The invasive plant which has been found nearby can choke out other wetland species and change the ecosystem.




2 minute read

Phragmites australis
© Richard Lansdown
Phragmites australis (Richard Lansdown, IUCN Red List)

Non-native Phragmites, also known as common reed, is a perennial wetland grass found in a variety of wet soil habitats. It can grow over 15 feet tall, has dark green leaves, and a large purple-brown flower head.

The plants form dense clonal stands containing both living and dead shoots from previous growing seasons. If cut down, the plant can re-sprout along the stem in many places.


  • Replaces mixed wetland communities with monocultures causing changes in ecosystem processes, such as hydrology and nutrient cycles.
  • Overtakes habitat and outcompetes native aquatic plants, potentially lowering diversity.
  • Provides unsuitable shelter, food, and nesting habitat for native animals.
  • Tall stands along shoreland areas block views of, and access to, open water.

Map of infestations from UMN Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center:

Workshop coming up

Learn about the emerging threat of Phragmites and how to combat the species. The workshop will focus on Phragmites identification, monitoring protocol, mapping and success stories on eradicating the species.


  • 8:30am – Registration
  • 9:00am – Welcome & Introductions
  • 9:15am – Responding to Invasive Phragmites in Minnesota Julia Bohnen, University of Minnesota
  • 10:00am – The Journey to Treat & Remove Non- Native Phragmites Kevin Ousdigian, President of the Turtle Lake Association
  • 10:45am – Networking Break
  • 11:15am – Panel Discussion with Julia Bohnen, Justin Townsend, Jimmy Marty, Gary Schumacher & Mary Kay Ripp
  • 12:15pm – Closing Remarks