Simply take a quick drive anywhere in this area and you’ll find a rather large patch or field full of a particularly tall grass called giant reed, also known as Arundo donax. Whether you notice or not, it is growing prolifically and leaving its mark on Central Texas as well as all over the state.
Arundo donax is thought to have originated in Asia and the Mediterranean region. Grown mostly for use in making reeds for musical instruments, it now inhabits most continents. It was brought to the United States in the early 1820s to aid California with erosion control. It’s spread over most of the southern U.S., costing states a great deal of money trying to rid it from private property and public waterways.
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Darla Menking is a certified Bell County Texas Master Gardener and a Texas Master Naturalist. Contact her at email@example.com.