Phragmites australis

Photo Courtesy of Herbarium Photographer

Common Name(s) Common Reed
Scientific Name Phragmites australis
Family Poaceae
Location/Vegetative Zone Primary Dunes
Flowering Period July to September
Identifying Characteristics Grows 2-6 meters high, brown or purple feathery foliage


  • Grows 2-6 meters high
  • It grows in extensive beds as wide as 1 kilometer
  • The leaves are numerous, long and pointed, reaching 20-50 cm in length
  • Perennial grass with brown or purple feathery foliage
  • Leaves are brown and the flowers are a dense, dark purple


Edible Uses

  • Can be ground into a powder, moistened and roasted like marshmallows

Cultural Uses

  • Stems and leaves
    • Used in many areas for thatching roofs and insulation
    • Used to make baskets, mats, and paper
    • Used as bristles on brooms
  • Can be fashioned into an Iranian flute-like instrument called the Ney
  • Burnt as fuel
  • Used as fertilizer
  • Flowering stalks used for rope making
  • Ground up and mixed with mud to make plaster


“Common Reed: Phragmites australis“. Natural Medicinal Herbs. Spiritual Knowledge, Led Ziarovsky. Web.

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