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Common Reed

Phragmites australis

Plant Data

Order:
Poales
Family:
Poaceae (Grass)
Flowering Months:
JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
Flowers:
Purple spikelets composed of 1-6 flowers each.
Fruit:
Numerous light brown seeds are produced in compact clusters on the flowering plumes.
Leaves:
Very long leaves for a grass. The leaf blades can be up to 3cm wide.
Maximum Size:
2 meters tall.
Foraging Notes:
The roots can be eaten raw, or cooked in a similar way to potatoes. It is high in sugar. The young shoots and seeds are edible, raw or cooked. The seeds can be ground down into a powder and used like flour. The stems can be eaten, raw or cooked, and are said to taste like a sweet form of licorice.
Never consume a wild plant unless you are 100% certain that it is safe to eat and you know that you have identified it correctly.
Other Names:
American Common Reed, Cane Grass, Common Reed, Common Reed Grass, Ditch Reed, European Common Reed, Giant Reed, Giant Reed, Giant Reed Grass, Hybrid Common Reed, Quilrod, Reed Grass, Roseau Cane, Subtropical Common Reed, Yellow Cane.
Habitats:
Ditches, fens, marshes, mountains, ponds, saltmarshes, waterside, wetland, woodland.