Phragmites australis: Exploring the Tall Grass’s Ecological Role

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The typical P. australis seen in Eurasia is an aquatic or sub-aquatic, erect perennial grass that can grow up to 4 meters tall, is heavily tufted, and has an extensive rhizome system. There might also be stalactites. Internodes are hollow, internodes are stiff, and there are many nodes.

The leaf blade is flat, up to 60 cm long, and 8 to 60 mm wide, tapering to a spiny point, inflexible, glabrous, or occasionally coated in a whitish bloom, and the leaf sheaths are loose and overlapping. The leaves can be up to 70 cm long and have ligules of hair that are 1.5 mm long.

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Content Summary

  • What is Phragmites australis Plant?
  • Other names of Phragmites australis Plant
  • History of Phragmites Australis Plant
  • How to Planting?
  • Growing Phragmites australis Plant at Home?
  • How to Care?
  • Types of Phragmites australis Plant
  • Protect Against Pests and Diseases
  • Most Interesting Facts
  • Related Questions


Except for Antarctica, every continent is home to Phragmites australis, which may have the broadest distribution of any flowering plant. It is widespread across the planet’s temperate zones in and around freshwater, salty, and alkaline wetlands. A few tropical wetlands may also have it, but the Amazon Basin and central Africa do not.

It is common throughout the United States and typically grows in wetlands, including marshes, swamps, fens, and prairie potholes, where it may create continuous belts. There is disagreement over whether Phragmites is native to this continent because it only recently colonized several marshes in North America and produced nearly monotypic stands there.

Currently, at least two sources provide convincing evidence that it existed in this area long before European contact. Phragmites remnants were discovered by Niering and Warren in 1977 in cores of 3000-year-old peat from tidal marshes in Connecticut.

Phragmites australis Plant overview

Scientific name: Phragmites australis (Cav.) Steud.

Synonym name: Phragmites communis Trin.

Common name: Common Reed

Family: Graminea , Grass Family

Life form: Hemicryptophyte

Stems: Culms are 100–500 cm tall

Leaves: Alternate, entire

Caryopses: Tiny, short helium

Flowering Period: January, October, November, December

Distribution: Mediterranean Woodlands

Chorotype: Plurireginalbor-trop

Summer shedding: Perennating

Types of Phragmites australis Plant

Common Reed:  The Common Reed is thought to be the blooming plant with the most significant geographic distribution. Although it can be up to 5 meters tall elsewhere in the world, it is typically 3 meters tall. Phragmites are frequently found around bodies of water, such as ditches, marshes, swamps, and fens.

Giant Reed: A long perennial grass that is native to Asia and common in the Mediterranean region is the giant reed. It is common in southern Europe, northern Africa, the Middle East, Australia, South America, and North America. It has been grown for thousands of years in the Middle East and Mediterranean region as a building material, erosion control and windbreak.

Ditch Reed: A garden may feature a ditch at the bottom of a hill or the boundary to aid drainage. Even though they don’t permanently contain water, their sunken shape and propensity to channel precipitation make them often wet, chilly locations for wildlife. Since they are unlikely to receive much sunlight, ditches will promote plants that thrive in shadow, such as mosses, ferns, and ivy.

How to Grow Phragmites Australis Plant

Common reed seeds germinate readily. A 1-gram gram packet of reed seed planted in seed trays can grow hundreds of mature plants for planting outdoors. Young plants are somewhat risky to establish and flourish in damp or flooded conditions. Both salinity and flooding prevent germination. Immature plants and seedlings will perish if they drown.

Any summertime pruning must consider the possibility of disturbing breeding birds. In the spring, pruning fresh reed shoots below the water’s surface will have the effect of drowning and limiting new growth. Reeds can be efficiently cut with a scythe or a machine. If using a scythe, attaching a “bow” will aid in directing the cut material to one side.

How to Care Phragmites australis Plant

A reed is perfect whether a large natural pond is used for swimming or is only aesthetic. This reed plant, which makes a lot of runners, is not the best choice for tiny ponds or ponds with pond liners.

Care is simple if you follow a few simple steps from the beginning. Rhizomes should be planted immediately in a bucket to prevent spreading and simplify maintenance. Everything else you need to know about reed culture has been gathered for you by us.


p. australis germinated equally effectively in darkness and light across most of the temperature ranges studied, according to an experiment comparing germination in dark and light at various temperature regimes.


First, common reed grows best in areas with moist soil, such as bogs, marshes, and the water’s edge. They favor soil that drains well yet still holds moisture. Soil should have a high water table or be near the surface if groundwater is present. Finally, salty water regions are suitable for the growth of Common Reed since it can survive some salt in the soil. However, because it is a freshwater plant, it cannot endure saltwater.


To ensure that Common Reed (Phragmites australis) grows robustly and healthily, it’s crucial to consider its hydration requirements. Although this plant does well in wetlands and can withstand dry spells, frequent watering is still required. Ideally, in the morning or evening, when it’s cooler, you should water your Common Reed at least once a week during the growing season. Give the earth a good soak by giving it a lot of water.


One must adequately know its requirements to fertilize Common Reed, also known as Phragmites australis. This plant prefers soils with a pH range of 6.0 to 8.5 that are high in nutrients. To encourage healthy growth and vigor after the first year, switching to a balanced fertilizer is advisable. Use a fertilizer with the ingredients 10-10-10 to achieve this. At least twice throughout each growing season, or as recommended by your regional agricultural extension service, use this fertilizer.


Surface-sow seeds in the spring in a bright location. Submerge the pot in 3 cm of water to maintain the soil’s moisture. Usually, germination happens quite quickly. When the seedlings are big enough to handle, prick them into separate pots and plant them outside in the summer—spring division. We’ve discovered that it’s preferable to pot up the smaller divisions and let them develop in a cold frame in light shade until they are well established before transplanting them outside in late spring or early summer.

Pests and Dieses

Only a few Phragmites australis diseases and pests have been identified in tropical Africa; Puccinia coronate, Saccharicoccus saccharin, and Dimorphopterus have all been found in the region. Although numerous Phragmites australis diseases and pests have been documented worldwide, none are known to have significantly harmed the plant.


In regions where you don’t want them, reeds have overgrown. How do you get rid of them?

Regardless of how far a seedling has escaped from the parent plant, it is crucial to remove it right away. You must dig through the entire garden, which can take a long time. Anyone who has experienced this once will vow never to plant reeds again. I’ve read accounts of impacted people digging up rhizomes weighing over 100 kilograms.

Can reed be eaten?

You can indeed use the tubers and rhizomes. You can boil them or make flour out of them. Those from the enormous reed are primarily used.

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