It is an erect, waist-high, stout perennial bunch grass with grayish to bluish green leaves. Flowering heads are dense, spike-like, and usually two to five inches long. It is slow to develop from seed, but can form large bunches after several years.
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass) differs from Harding grass in having more distinct rhizomes and an inflorescence that is compact at first but later becomes more open as the branches spread.
Hybrids of Harding grass and reed canary grass have been produced. Varieties include 'AQ1', 'Uneta', and 'Australis'.
Phalaris aquatica originated from Southern Europe and the Caucasus. It is now naturalized in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
Phalaris aquatica is a pasture species grazed by ruminants. The grass can also be cut, providing good quality fodder for grazing livestock for 8 to 12 months a year.
Leaves and seedlings contain the tryptamine hallucinogens DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and related compounds. A raw, dried plant Phalaris aquatica contains approximately 0.1% DMT, 0.022% 5-MeO-DMT, and 0.005% bufotenin. A particular strain of P. aquatica from Italy, labeled 'AQ-1', was reported to contain in excess of 1.0% alkaloid concentration.
- "Phalaris aquatica". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 2008-04-02.
- "BSBI List 2007". Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2014-10-23. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
- Heuzé V., Tran G., Boudon A., Lebas F., 2017. Bulbous canary grass (Phalaris aquatica). Feedipedia, a programme by INRA, CIRAD, AFZ and FAO. https://www.feedipedia.org/node/391
- Toxicants of Plant Origin - Google Book Search. books.google.com. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- Tryptamine Carriers FAQ
- Phalaris / DMT FAQ
- Phalaris: Some of the many strains of interest.
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