Common Reed

Common Reed Grass
Seedhead of Common Reed Grass
Image: Rodney Start
Source: Museum Victoria

Djarg (Wemba Wemba and other Kulin languages, Kowat (Gunaikurnai)

Botanical name: Phragmites australis
Family: Poaceae


A multipurpose plant. The shafts can be used in the manufacture of spears and the leaves can be woven into baskets. Sections of the hollow stems can be strung into reed necklaces or used as nose ornaments. In Gippsland, the sharpened ends of the stems are made into knife-like instruments for skinning animals. The roots can also be eaten.


Common Reed grows across Australia in wet, brackish soils. It is common in riparian and swamp scrub, and Coast Banksia woodland.


This reed can reach 1–3 m tall. It is an attractive waterside plant in cultivation but can take over. This plant can be cut back to the ground at the end of summer to promote new green growth and remove old canes.

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Common Reed Grass