A donax is a warm-temperate or subtropical species that is also able to survive frost. It can tolerate a wide variety of ecological conditions and a wide variety of soil types.It is a rhizomatous crop, like Miscanthus, and can grow well even in dry conditions as a result of a good root system developing below the rhizomes. In many circumstances it can grow to heights of 8 – 9m and again, like Miscanthus, it can be harvested with conventional (maize) equipment.
It is suited to many parts of the US and EU
Arundo donax is a clear target crop within the EU for renewable energy as it is featured in EU funded projects such as OPTIMA, WATBIO, EuroBioRef and FAIR-CT96-2028 (Giant reed network).
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) in the US declared in July 2013 that ‘Arundo donax, a giant reed that yields three times as much ethanol per acre as corn, qualifies as a cellulosic renewable fuel’.