1. Phalaris arundinacea Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 55. 1753.
草 ge cao
Typhoides arundinacea (Linnaeus) Moench.
Perennial, rhizomatous; rhizomes extensively spreading. Culms reedlike, erect, leafy, 0.6–1.5 m tall, 6–8-noded. Leaf sheaths glabrous, not inflated; leaf blades 10–35 cm × 10–18 mm, tapering to a fine apex; ligule 2–3 mm. Panicle contracted, linear-oblong in outline, lobed, interrupted, 8–15 cm; branches short, erect, densely spiculate. Spikelets oblong, laterally compressed, 4–6 mm; glumes narrowly lanceolate, glabrous or puberulous, pale green streaked darker green or purplish, keel scabrid, wingless or very narrowly winged upward, apex sharply acute; sterile lemmas equal, subulate, 1.5–1.8 mm, villous; fertile lemma broadly lanceolate, 3–4 mm, appressed-pubescent upward, shiny; palea boat-shaped, keels ciliolate. Anthers 2.5–3 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun–Aug. 2n = 28.
Marshy grassland, river and lake margins, forming colonies; 100–3200 m. Anhui, Gansu, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Ningxia, Qinghai, Shaanxi, Shandong, Shanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Xinjiang, Yunnan, Zhejiang (Lin'an) [widely distributed in temperate parts of the N hemisphere].
An ornamental form of this species with green- and cream-striped leaf blades, Phalaris arundinacea var. picta Linnaeus (丝带草 si dai cao), is sometimes cultivated in gardens.