Phalaris arundinacea

2. Phalaris arundinacea L. var. picta L. (syn.: P. arundinacea subsp. picta (L.) Arcang., P. picta (L.) Sloboda) (hort.) – Rather frequently cultivated in gardens (although perhaps more so formerly). Sometimes found as a garden escape or throw-out in ditches or other damp places but probably widely overlooked or neglected. Apparently first recorded on a canal bank in Wilsele in 1861. Sometimes found in more or less natural habitats. At the beginning of the 20th century, for instance, it was more or less established in abundance in natural marshland in St. Mard but suddenly disappeared without obvious reason. Likewise, it grows on the margins of river Dommel near Peer since 2008. Often very persistent and possibly more or less naturalised locally.

Both varieties of Phalaris arundinacea are distinguished in the following couplet:

  • Leaves striped === var. picta
  • Leaves not striped (native) === var. arundinacea

Herbarium specimen

Phalaris arundinacea var. picta, Testelt, marshy woodland, July 2008, E. Molenaar.

Phalaris arundinaceae var. picta - darwing S.Bellanger        Phalaris arundinaceae, spikelet - darwing S.Bellanger

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith