Members of the genus Phragmites are superficially similar to Arundo. Sterile specimens of P. australis are sometimes misidentified as Arundo donax, a grass introduced to North America from Asia and now troublesome in natural areas, especially in California. The genera can be distinguished when in flower because the glumes of Phragmites are glabrous while those of Arundo are covered with soft, whitish hairs 6-8 mm long. In addition, the glumes are much shorter than the lemmas in Phragmites.
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