Stems erect, 10 to 30 ft high, 1 to 3 in. in diameter at the base; unbranched the first year, branching at the upper part the second. Stem-sheaths glabrous except at the ciliate margins, fringed at the top. Leaves lanceolate, 4 to 15 in. long, 1 to 11⁄4 in. wide, slenderly pointed, rounded at the base, finely toothed, glabrous or slightly downy; veins in six to fourteen pairs; leaf-sheaths ciliate on the margins, fimbriate at the tip.
This is the large cane reed of the S.E. United States, where it grows on river banks and in swamps, forming extensive colonies in low woods, from Virginia and Kentucky southward to Florida and Louisiana. The young culms are edible. It is not established at Kew but should be hardy over a good part of the south-west.