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Phalaris (grass)

For the historical personage, see Phalaris.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Phalaris

See text.



Various species of Phalaris grow on every continent except Antarctica. 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 areas. P. arundinacea and P. aquatica are sometimes invasive species in wetlands.


Phalaris arundinacea and Phalaris aquatica, as well as Phalaris brachystachys, are known to contain the psychedelic tryptamines N,N-DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, and 5-OH-DMT.

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 Phalaris 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.

Phalaris Species Known to Contain Alkaloids
Total Alkaloids (Dried)
Phalaris aquatica
Phalaris arundinacea
Phalaris brachystachys
Aerial parts up to 3%

None of the above alkaloids are said to have been found in P. californica, P. canariensis, P. minor and hybrids of P. arundinacea together with P. aquatica.[1]


Used in dried flower arrangements. Phalaris canariensis is commonly used for bird seed.

Phalaris is a genus of Poaceae.

Species include:

  • Phalaris angusta - timothy canarygrass
  • Phalaris aquatica - bulbous canarygrass, Harding grass, Hardinggrass, =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
  • Phalaris coerulescens - sunolgrass
  • Phalaris commutata
  • Phalaris lemmonii - Lemmon's canarygrass
  • Phalaris minor - canarygrass, littleseed canarygrass
  • Phalaris paradoxa - hood canarygrass


  1. ^ a b c Lycaeum
  2. ^ a b c Erowid Phalaris FAQ
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Phalaris_(grass)". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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