Archive for the 'Arundo Donax' Category

Down with Donax

Friday, May 4th, 2018
Arundo Donax, Image USGS

Arundo Donax, Image USGS

This is Passport to Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife rolled out a new campaign on management of an invasive grass called Arundo Donax.
Angela England, an aquatic invasive species biologist, says learn to recognize the plant; say something if you see it, and be aware of its presence.

A lot of it you’ll see on the right-of-ways of the roads—but also in the creeks and rivers. On the banks.

The program reaches out to people in construction and road maintenance. The most effective management is herbicide use.

It doesn’t spread by seed. It only spreads by fragments of the roots and stems. So, any time there is construction activity, or veg management with mowing or tilling that will create these new fragments and spread them around—that’s just creating whole new patches that will be a problem later.

Monica McGarrity, aquatic invasive team leader says the campaign employs a character called Arundo Control Man—an everyday hero.

Everyone can be an Arundo control hero. Everyone can help to manage it. This is a training program that we’re asking everyone to put into play for their safety trainings; it’s plug and play. You can order brochures from us online. You can click play on the video, and train these groups so that all of them can become Arundo control heroes. And that’s what we’re trying to encourage.

Find a link to additional resources at

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

Arundo: Donax, do Tell

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018
Arundo Control Man

Arundo Control Man

This is Passport to Texas

A tall, non-native invasive grass, Arundo donax grows along creek and river beds and spreads quickly. It impairs native ecology, destabilizes and impedes bank access and increases flood and fire risks.

We’re really seeing that the source of this plant getting into our waterways seems to be construction activities, fill dirt placement, and mowing that pulls it down into our creeks.

Monica McGarrity is aquatic invasive species team leader for Texas Parks and Wildlife. Angela England also works on this team as a biologist. She says the agency’s launched a new Arundo awareness and prevention campaign developed in partnership with the Nueces River Authority, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and the Texas Department of Transportation.

[In] this new program, we’ve geared a lot of the materials to folks in the construction industry and vegetation management. So, mowers, and folks running dozers, and so forth.

England says prevention and management begins with knowing the enemy.

We want everybody that’s in these industries to have a feel for what the plant is. We’ve got a training video; we’ve got materials that we can get to you on how to identify it. We want you to sound the alarm if you see it—and let your boss know: “Hey, it looks like there’s fragments of this bad stuff in the fill dirt that we just got. Maybe we should send it back.” And start hitting it before it gets into new places.

More on the Arundo donax campaign tomorrow.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

Arundo Donax–an Invasive Cane

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018
Arundo donax, also called Giant Reed.

Arundo donax, also called Giant Reed.

This is Passport to Texas

Have you seen thickets of plants along roadsides that look like a cross between corn and bamboo? It’s called Arundo donax.

It’s a tall, tall, tall grass. It grows up to 30 feet tall.

Angela England is an aquatic invasive species biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife. This giant grass thrives along creek and river beds. Growing up to two inches per day, Arundo outcompetes native plant communities.

After the Arundo moves in and forms a real thick area, we see almost no native plants growing there. And we really depend on those native plants to preserve the soil of those stream banks.

Arundo is also a glutton for water.

Arundo is so thirsty, it takes up a lot of water and evaporates it out to the sky. And so, downstream of thick infestations, we actually see less water in the river. And that’s really a problem for fish and other animals that require that water.

A growing partnership to fight infestations of Arundo in Texas. That’s tomorrow.

The Wildlife Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, Cecilia Nasti.

TPW TV — Razing Cane

Friday, July 7th, 2017
Arrundo Donax is ready for its close-up.

Arrundo Donax is ready for its close-up.

This is Passport to Texas

Mike Eckert lives just outside of Fredericksburg. He’s battling with an invasive plant called Giant Reed, or Arrundo Donax that’s taking over a creek on his property.

As best as I understand, it’s doesn’t spread from seeds. It spreads from pieces washing out and lodging somewhere, and then starting to grow again.

Next week on the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV series watch a segment called Razing Cane that explores the impact of this invader that threatens nearly every river system in Texas.

We’re almost to the Pedernales. Another half mile and you’ll hit the Pedernales down here. And they’ve got this stuff in the Pedernales, too. And it’s spreading pretty quick. And it’s all over. Everywhere you go, it’s there. It’s going to take a massive effort to wipe it out. And I’m not sure they’ll ever wipe it out.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Aquatic invasive species specialist, Monica McGarrity and a team of biologists is fighting back. They’re using an herbicide that will hopefully kill this introduced invasive weed.

Arrundo is a grass, but it’s a grass on steroids. It grows 30 to 40 feet tall. Huge, dense canes. So dense that wildlife can’t even get through it. And so this is a really aggressive plant, and it’s important to take equally aggressive action to manage it.

View the Texas Parks and Wildlife TV segment Razing Cane next week on PBS. Check your local listings.

The Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife…I’m Cecilia Nasti.

Managing Giant Reed in the Texas Hill Country

Friday, May 20th, 2016
Arundo, photo courtesy, kathelma

Arundo, photo courtesy, kathelma

This is Passport to Texas

Arundo Donax—or giant reed—may not be public enemy number one, but this non-native grass, which covers an estimated half million acres in Texas, shows up on Parks and Wildlife’s most (un)wanted list.

This is an invasive plant—especially when it gets into areas along rivers and creeks.

Monica McGarrity studies aquatic invasives for Texas Parks and Wildlife, and says thanks to recent increased legislative funding, the agency can expand management efforts of arundo to the Hill Country.

One of the reasons why we’re focusing on the hill country is because these are some of the headwaters areas, they’re really important, for some of our native fishes that are imperiled; including our state fish—the Guadalupe bass. And when it gets into these narrow streams and creeks and headwaters, it can just have some devastating impacts.

Such as bank failure, decreased water quality, and habitat disruption. McGarrity says the plan includes using EPA approved herbicides and revegetating banks with native species.

This project seeks to manage the arundo to minimize impacts on these imperiled fishes, and improve habitat quality and diversity and support these conservation initiatives.

Learn more about Arundo donax at

The Sport Fish Restoration program supports our series.

For Texas Parks and Wildlife, I’m Cecilia Nasti.