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Article updated: 11/17/2012 1:28 PM

Is giant reed a 'miracle plant' or the next kudzu?

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A worker from the San Diego River Conservancy sprays previously mowed, re-sprouting Arundo donax in Santee, Calif.

Associated Press/March 5, 2012

Farming director Sam Brake shows a "rhizome" from an Arundo donax plant in a test plot near the Biofuels Center of North Carolina in Oxford, N.C.

Associated Press/Oct. 1, 2012 photo

Crews cut and haul Arundo donax to higher areas where mowers can grind it in Bonsall, Calif. California has spent more than $70 million trying to eradicate the invasive, self-propagating perennial.

Associated Press/Jan. 29, 2008

Farming director Sam Brake bends a stalk of Arundo donax toward the ground in a test plot behind the Biofuels Center of North Carolina.

Associated Press/Oct. 1, 2012

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To many scientists and environmentalists, Arundo looks less like a miracle than a nightmare waiting to happen. Officials in at least three states have banned the bamboo-like grass as a "noxious weed"; California has spent more than $70 million trying to eradicate it.
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    • A worker from the San Diego River Conservancy sprays previously mowed, re-sprouting Arundo donax in Santee, Calif.
    • Farming director Sam Brake shows a “rhizome” from an Arundo donax plant in a test plot near the Biofuels Center of North Carolina in Oxford, N.C.
    • Crews cut and haul Arundo donax to higher areas where mowers can grind it in Bonsall, Calif. California has spent more than $70 million trying to eradicate the invasive, self-propagating perennial.
    • Farming director Sam Brake bends a stalk of Arundo donax toward the ground in a test plot behind the Biofuels Center of North Carolina.
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