Arundo donax versicolor
Red Maple and Variegated Reed
Back in 2009 a friend gave me some variegated giant reed - Arundo donax versicolor. 'Plant it by the water race' he said. 'It shouldn't be too invasive'...
Well, he was right - as far as the location of my garden is concerned. Years later, and not a problem, planted waterside in the Dog-Path Garden. But it can be a nuisance in other parts of New Zealand, and in other countries.
A naughty plant...
The plain green Arundo donax is a naughty plant with a terrible reputation. It's been nominated as among 100 of the 'World's Worst' invaders, slowly crowding out other plants, and potentially blocking streams causing flooding. On the other hand, it's also highly flammable throughout the year. Should a gardener have been silly enough to plant it and then wish to get rid of it, an excavator would be useful to remove the rhizomes. Or they would need to engage in some serious chemical warfare. Eek!
Mine is variegated!
Luckily for my conscience my Arundo is the variegated variety - smaller, slower growing, and significantly less invasive, according to the RHS website. Phew! It's one of the tallest ornamental 'grasses' and is absolutely beautiful. I'm a huge fan of variegated leaves and spiky leaves, so this plant ticks all the boxes. I love it.