Phragmites or "Giant Reeds" are large stems that grow out of stout rhizomes.  At the top the plant there is a cluster of spikelets which look somewhat like a feather duster.  These plants grow anywhere from 6-13 feet tall.

Phragmites tend to grow very successfully along shorelines and in wetlands.  They do act well as a buffer zone plant, however they can become excessive due to the height that they reach and their capability to spread between seasons.