Invasive phragmites (Phragmites australis) has the potential to establish and expand in Strathcona County. It is a Eurasian plant that has been moving west from eastern Canada.

Image of phragmite stalks

How to identify phragmites

  • Phragmites plant
    Tall reed like plant known as the European common reed.
  • Grows in shallow water at a wetlands edge.
  • Prefers saline conditions and disturbed soils.
  • Spreads quickly by seeds, rhizomes or stolon(root like stems)
  • Reaches heights of 5 metres with 200 stems per metre sq.
  • Grows fast and chokes out native species by releasing toxins from it’s roots.
  • Becomes a fire hazard in large dense stands and blocks motorist sightlines in ditches.
  • Has no natural predators in Canada.


Identification and prevention are key.

  • Remove all visible portions of the plant and dispose of them in the garbage - do not compost
  • Backhoe excavated in ditch areas
  • Limited herbicide control by commercial operators
  • Gardeners should only use native or non-invasive plants

Report any suspect plants to Transportation and Agriculture Services at 780-417-7100.

Further information:

County Connect

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Last updated: Wednesday, June 29, 2022
Page ID: 49188