Arrundo donax is a bamboo-like grass that prefers stream banks and other such wetlands that have an abundance of water. It attains a heights of 40 feet and once established, it tends to form large, continuous root masses. A single clump may contain hundreds of stems that grow tightly together and very rapidly. The plant reproduces by spreading outward, or by clumps broken off from the adult plant which can happen in a flood event. Both the stems and the roots underground parts called "Rhizomes" have the ability to propagate. Also it has hard, green bamboo like stems.
Arrundo was originally imported from the Mediterranean by the early Spanish settlers, and later from India in the early 1800's. It was brought here to California for several reasons: building materials, erosion control in the early irrigation systems, and as a rapidly growing barrier.
Why Arundo is undesirable:
Arundo donax is a plant that quickly absorbs the water that is in it's surrounding area stealing from the already existing vegetation. Although it was brought here for several reasons it later got out of the control of the original planters. Now taking control of much of the existing fertile land and plant-life, it steals the water from everything, including any rivers within its path. So far Arundo has made a name for itself in the southern California region by clogging up rivers such as: the Santa Ana, San Gabriel, Ventura, Santa Paula, Santa Margarita, and San Diego.