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Plant Details

Arundinaria gigantea

Giant Cane, River Cane, Switchcane

Scientific Name:

Arundinaria gigantea

Genus:

Arundinaria

Species Epithet:

gigantea

Common Name:

Giant Cane, River Cane, Switchcane

Plant Type

Grass/Sedge/Rush

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Poaceae (Grass Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Invasive Status:

(*Key)

Size:

6-12 ft., 12-36 ft.

Light:

Sun - 6 or more hours of sun per day, Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Dry, Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

April, May, June, July

Growing Area:

Mountains, Piedmont

Habitat Description:

Swamps and floodplains. Common in NC mountains, uncommon in piedmont, according to Weakley (2015). USDA PLANTS shows it in the NC sandhills and coastal plain as well.

Leaf Arrangement:

Alternate

Leaf Retention:

Evergreen

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

State Rank:

S5: Secure (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)

Notes:

Flowers rarely, supposedly only every 40 to 50 years. Can form large stands ("canebrakes"). Highly flammable.

Along a riverbank in the North Carolina mountains

Bettina Darveaux

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

NC Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox: https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/arundinaria-gigantea/

Vascular Plants of NC: https://auth1.dpr.ncparks.gov/flora/species_account.php

700 Bird-friendly Plants for NC: https://nc.audubon.org/700



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