Bur reed is a tall grass-like plant with distinctive prickly-looking flowers.
Bur reed is about two to six feet tall with alternating blade-shaped leaves along a central stem. Leaves are medium-green, smooth, and keeled on one side. The leaves are up to one inch wide, flat on top, and taller than the flower. Bur reeds have distinct spherical flowers that are prickly in appearance. These bur-like flower clusters are near the top of a large stalk, spaced apart slightly, and approximately one inch in diameter. Flowers are green at first and turn brown with age. They typically bloom May through August.
Bur reed is common all around the United States.