Phalaris aquatica

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Phalaris aquatica
File:Phalaris aquatica.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Phalaris
Species: P. aquatica
Binomial name
Phalaris aquatica

Phalaris aquatica (syn. P. tuberosa) known by the common names bulbous canarygrass and Harding grass, is a species of grass in the genus Phalaris of the Poaceae Family.


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.[2]

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'.


Some Phalaris species contain gramine, which can cause brain damage, other organ damage, central nervous system damage and death in sheep.[3]

Leaves and seedlings contain the tryptamine hallucinogens DMT, 5-MeO-DMT and related compounds.[4] A raw, dried plant Phalaris aquatica contains approximately 0.1% DMT, 0.022% 5-MeO-DMT, and 0.005% bufotenin.[5] A particular strain of P. aquatica from Italy, labeled 'AQ-1', was reported to contain in excess of 1.0% alkaloid concentration.[6]

Invasive species

Harding grass is an invasive species in grassland, oak woodland, chaparral, and riparian habitats. Native grasses and grassland habitat in California are affected.

See also


  1. "Phalaris aquatica information from NPGS/GRIN". Retrieved 2008-04-02. 
  3. Toxicants of Plant Origin - Google Book Search. Retrieved 2008-04-20. 
  4. Tryptamine Carriers FAQ
  5. Phalaris / DMT FAQ
  6. Phalaris: Some of the many strains of interest.

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