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Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Cladus: Commelinids
Ordo: Poales

Familia: Poaceae
Subfamilia: Pooideae
Tribus: Poeae
Subtribus: Phalaridinae
Genus: Phalaris
Species: (17 Govaerts and Simon (et al.) (2013))
P. amethystina – P. angusta – – P. arundinacea – P. brachystachys – P. californica – P. canariensis – P. caroliniana – P. coerulescens – P. lemmonii – P. lindigii – P. maderensis – P. minor – P. paradoxa – P. peruviana – P. platensis – P. truncataP. aquatica

Nothospecies: P. x davidii


Phalaris L., Sp. Pl. 1: 54. 1753., nom. cons.

Type species: Phalaris canariensis L., Sp. Pl.: 54. 1753.


Baldingera G.Gaertn., B.Mey. & Scherb., Oekon. Fl. Wetterau 1: 43. 1799, nom. superfl.
Digraphis Trin., Fund. Agrost.: 127. 1820, nom. illeg.
Endallex Raf., Bull. Bot. (Geneva) 1: 220. 1830, nom. illeg.
Phalaridantha St.-Lag. in A.Cariot, Étude Fl., éd. 8. 2: 900. 1889, nom. superfl.
Phalaroides Wolf, Gen. Pl.: 11. 1781.
Typhoides Moench, Methodus: 201. 1794.


Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species Plantarum. Tomus I: 54. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2013. Phalaris in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 17. Reference page.
Simon, B.K., Clayton, W.D., Harman, K.T., Vorontsova, M., Brake, I., Healy, D. & Alfonso, Y. 2013. GrassWorld, Phalaris. Published online. Accessed: 2013 Dec. 17. 2013. Phalaris. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published online. Accessed: 17 Dec. 2013.
International Plant Names Index. 2013. Phalaris. Published online. Accessed: 17 Dec. 2013.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Phalaris in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 20 March 2008.

Vernacular names
беларуская: Канарэечнік
Deutsch: Glanzgräser
suomi: Helvet
Türkçe: Kanyaş

Phalaris is a genus of grasses. Various species of Phalaris grow on every continent except Antarctica. They can be found in a broad range of habitats from below sea level to thousands of feet above sea level and from wet marshy areas to dry places. P. arundinacea and P. aquatica are sometimes invasive species in wetlands.


Some Phalaris species contain gramine, which, in sheep and to a lesser extent in cattle, is toxic and can cause brain damage, other organ damage, central nervous system damage, and death.[1][2]

Phalaris arundinacea, Phalaris aquatica, and Phalaris brachystachys are known to contain the alkaloids DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, and 5-OH-DMT (bufotenin). Some research has been done into the variability of alkaloids in the Phalaris grasses. Strains with high levels of alkaloids are best avoided in locations with grazing cattle and sheep, due to potential toxicity. Such high-alkaloid strains include Phalaris aquatica AQ-1 and the species P. brachystachys. Seasonal and weather patterns also appear to affect alkaloid concentration, as most toxicity occurs in autumn and in times of drought. Regrowth after grazing or mowing also shows a considerable increase in alkaloids.

In June 2018, mobs of wild kangaroos were observed[3] suffering from "phalaris staggers" which causes head tremors, a loss of co-ordination and collapse. When phalaris is used to feed livestock, farmers can administer cobalt to their animals or spray it on their pastures to protect animals against the effects of phalaris. However, this treatment is not available to wild kangaroos and they suffer from poisoning due to the alkaloids. The staggers syndrome is more common in livestock in areas with limestone soils, which contain less cobalt than basalt soils.
Phalaris species known to contain alkaloids Species
Total alkaloids (dried)



Phalaris aquatica



Phalaris arundinacea

Phalaris brachystachys
Aerial parts up to 3%


None of the above alkaloids is said to have been found in P. californica, P. canariensis, P. minor and hybrids of P. arundinacea together with P. aquatica.[4]

Some species are used in dried flower arrangements. Phalaris canariensis is commonly used for birdseed.

Phalaris arundinacea is also being trialled as a potential bioenergy crop in Ireland.[6]

Species include:

Phalaris amethystina Trin.
Phalaris angusta - timothy canarygrass
Phalaris aquatica - bulbous canarygrass, Harding grass, Hardinggrass (syn. Phalaris tuberosa)
Phalaris arundinacea - reed canary grass, reed canarygrass
Phalaris brachystachys - shortspike canarygrass
Phalaris californica - California canarygrass
Phalaris canariensis - annual canarygrass, common canary grass, common canarygrass
Phalaris caroliniana - Carolina canarygrass, maygrass, see Eastern Agricultural Complex
Phalaris coerulescens - sunolgrass
Phalaris commutata
Phalaris elongata Braun-Blanq.
Phalaris lemmonii - Lemmon's canarygrass
Phalaris minor - canarygrass, littleseed canarygrass
Phalaris paradoxa - hood canarygrass
Phalaris platensis Henrard ex Wacht.
Phalaris truncata Guss. ex Bertol.


Cheeke, Peter R. (31 August 1989). Toxicants of Plant Origin - Google Book Search. ISBN 9780849369902. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
phalaris pdf Archived 2015-11-24 at the Wayback Machine - AU Dept. of Agriculture and Food
Kangaroos under the influence: Grass to blame for staggering death of 'drunken' kangaroos, Jo Printz and Mark Kearney, ABC News Online, 2018-06-21
"Lycaeum". Archived from the original on 2008-06-18. Retrieved 2007-06-28.
Erowid Phalaris FAQ
Reed Canary Grass. Teagasc. 2007.

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