Phalaroides japonica (Stendel) Czer. - Japanese reed canary grass.

Taxonomic position.

Family Poaceae Barnhart., genus Phalaroides Wolf.


Phalaroides arundinacea subsp. japonica (Steudel) Tzvel., Phalaris japonica Steud., Typhoides arundinacea subsp. japonica (Steud.) Tzvel.

Biology and morphology.

Perennial plant, very robust, hairless, rhizomatous. It tends to grow in clumps or tussocks, but spreads by short, scaly rhizomes, forming a very dense sod. Stems erect, up to 180-250 cm tall. Leaf blade rolled when young, wide (3-10 mm), long (25-28 cm), finely striated, almost smooth, pale green. Ligule long (almost 5 mm), oval-obtuse. No auricles. Panicle-like inflorescence is elongated (10-15 cm), spreading at flowering then contracted, whitish green to purple. Spikelets are mono-floral. Glumes with winged keel, 0.2-0.3 mm wide. The brown to grayish black seeds are obovate, smooth and waxy. The seeds readily shatter at maturity, shattering from the top of the panicle downward. Blossoms in June; seed maturity occurs during July-August. Cross-pollinated by wind. 2n = 14, 28, 35, 42, 56.


Occurs in Eastern Siberia (south of the Baikal region) and the Far East.


Mesophyte. Occurs in wet meadows and on riversides.

Utilization and economic value.

High-yielding hay plant. When harvested at the early heading stage, its nutritive value is comparable to that of other forage grasses. Very useful for pasture. It starts to grow early in the spring, showing good distribution of growth throughout the season. The dense sod of Japanese reed canary grass makes it useful on rapidly eroding waterways, shorelines and ditch banks.


Brezhnev D.D., Korovina O.N. 1980. Wild relatives of the cultivated plants of flora of the USSR. L.: Kolos, 376 pp. (in Russian).
Malyshev L.I., Peshkova G.A., eds. 1990. Flora of Siberia. Vol. 2. Novosibirsk: Nauka, 361 pp. (in Russian).
Rozhevitz P.U., Shishkin V.K., eds. 1937. Flora of the USSR. Vol. 2. M.-L.: USSR, 778 pp. (in Russian).
Tzvelev N.N. 1976. Poaceae USSR. L.: Nauka, 788 pp. (in Russian).
Harkevich S.S., ed. 1985. Vascular Plants of the Soviet Far East. Vol. 1. St. Petersburg: Nauka, 390 p. (in Russian).

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