Reed Canarygrass (Phalaris arundinacea) is an invasive species and a major threat to grasslands and natural wetlands on nearly every landmass (Morrison and Molofsky 1998). Methanol extracts of whole and macerated Reed Canarygrass roots have been found to reduce the germination and growth of lettuce (Lactuca sativa), radish (Raphanus sativus), and the aquatic plant, Reed Mannagrass (Glyceria maxima) (Veit and Proctor 2009). Linoleic, linolenic and palmitic acids were identified in the methanol extracts of both the whole and macerated Reed Canarygrass roots (Proctor 2011). The purpose of this research was to determine if these chemicals individually and in combination would reduce the germination and/or growth of lettuce. Results indicate that all three compounds significantly reduce the growth of lettuce (P<0.05). Linolenic acid alone significantly reduced the germination. Linolenic was found to produce a statistically significant reduction in root growth at 27 ppm, followed by linoleic at 54 ppm and palmitic acid at 500 ppm. The lowest concentration tested was 27 ppm of linolenic acid. Research also reveals that when combined, linolenic and linoleic acid produce a greater reduction on growth than when treated with the compounds individually. This research proves that Reed Canarygrass has allelopathic chemicals in and on the roots.


Bertha Proctor

Committee Member

Christopher Ruhland

Committee Member

James Rife

Date of Degree




Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Biological Sciences


Science, Engineering and Technology

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License