Description The Phragmite australis is a commonly seen wetland reed. It can be found in wetlands throughout temperate and tropical regions all over the world. It can grow up to 6 feet high and spread 16 feet or more per year. They typically grow in extensive stands or reed beds which can be as much as a whole square kilometer. Despite it's attractive appearance the phragmite is considered an invasive species and can be harmful to other native plant life. This shot was taken near the shore of Lake Erie where this reed is very abundant.