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a genus of large perennial herbs of the family Gramineae. The plants are 0.5–5 m tall and have long, spreading rhizomes. The linear-lanceolate leaf blades measure as much as 5 cm across. The inflorescence is a dense panicle reaching 50 cm long. The spikelets are three- to seven-flowered and have longhaired awns.

There are five species: two occur in the tropics of Asia and Africa, two are found only in East Asia and Argentina, and one (P. australis—formerly P. communis) is almost cosmopolitan. P. australis is widely distributed in the USSR, except in the arctic regions. It grows along shores (mainly at depths below 1.5 m), in marshes and marshy meadows, amid thickets, and in forests. It also occurs on solonchaks, sands, slopes, and other areas with nearby groundwater; it sometimes grows as a weed in fields. The plant reproduces mainly vegetatively. It usually forms dense covers, which are especially extensive in flooded areas, lowlands, and deltas of southern rivers. Young plants are eaten by cattle and horses long before flowering. P. australis is a valuable food source for muskrat, coypu, elk, and deer. The starch-rich rhizomes may be used as food.

Phragmites are used to obtain reed board, an insulating and building material suitable for roofing, fences, woven products, and coarse papers. The plants are also used as a litter for livestock and as fuel. Plantings are sometimes used to reinforce dunes and for ornamental purposes.


Koromovye rasteniia senokosov ipastbishch SSSR, vol. 1. Edited by I. V. Larin. Moscow-Leningrad, 1950.
References in periodicals archive ?
On brackish marshes, we selected plant communities dominated by Phragmites australis or Elytrigia repens as tall plant communities (Esselink et al.
Microbial growth and nitrogen retention in litter of Phragmites australis compared to Typha angustifolia.
Restoration of arthropod assemblages in a Spartina salt marsh following removal of the invasive plant Phragmites australis.
As a result, the area was overrun by Phragmites australis.
Recent Spread of the Invasive Plant, Phragmites australis, in Michigan's St.
The 4th-millennium inhabitants of Hacinebi however, had access to Phragmites australis (Cav.
According to survey of studied area 4 sampling stations based on aggregation and distribution of Phragmites australis and entrance of pollutants sources were selected.
To get comparable results it is suggested that samples of Phragmites australis should be collected in the phenophase of early flowering (Dykyjova et al.
Washington, June 4 (ANI): Scientists at the University of Delaware (UD) have discovered that changing climate is making the tall, tasseled reed Phragmites australis, a 'super weed', more powerful that it has become one of the most invasive plants in the United States.
Tall Phragmites australis plants, often just called Phragmites, have waved their tasseled tops over wetlands in North America for millennia, says Kristin Saltonstall.
Phragmites australis (common reed) occurs along the Rio Grande, irrigation canals, resacas, and on barrier and spoil islands (Lonard et al.