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Phragmites australis

common reed

P. australis is a vigorous reed grass to 3m in height, spreading by rhizomes and forming an extensive colony of erect, leafy, robust stems with drooping linear leaves which turn light brown in autumn, and terminal dark purple flowering panicles from late summer

Other common names
bennels
carrizo
see moreDanube grass
ditch reed
nal
Norfolk reed
pole reed
spire reed
spires
Synonyms
Phragmites isiaca
Phragmites communis
see moreArundo phragmites
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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Poorly–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple Green
Autumn Purple Brown
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H7
Botanical details
Family
Poaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Tufted
Genus

Phragmites are vigorous rhizomatous perennial grasses with linear leaves and large feathery purple panicles of flowers in late summer

Name status

Correct

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in deep, moderately fertile, reliably moist soil in full sun; it needs ample space and is potentially invasive in favourable conditions. In riverside, lake or pond areas can be grown in large containers sunk in water to restrict growth and provides ideal habitats for rare and endangered birds

Propagation

Propagate by division from early spring to early summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Wildflower meadow
Pruning

Cut back in late autumn or winter

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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