Reed Canary-grass - Phalaris arundinacea


A tall grass to 200 cm, stout and smooth stemmed, reed-like. Forms dense stands by means of creeping rhizomes. Panicles 5 to 25 cm long, spikelets sometimes flushed purple.

Identification difficulty
ID guidance

The panicle is branched. Each spikelet contains only one fertile floret usually completely enclosed by its glumes. Many leaves are more than 1cm wide. Often growing by water


Damp places, ditches, beside water etc.

When to see it

June to August.

Life History


UK Status

Widespread and common throughout Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. In the 1979 Flora survey of Leicestershire it was found in 491 of the 617 tetrads.

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map