The Common Reed (Phragmites australis) is a native perennial species that can grow up to four metres high. The species is tolerant of fresh or slightly brackish water. An important component of wetland ecosystems, it gives cover to animals and helps to prevent wave or stream erosion. This reed is important in removing nutrients within ecosystems by assisting with urban stormwater runoff and wastewater cleansing.
These reeds have been used in artificial wetlands to remediate waste water, as they have a very active root zone that works in conjunction with bacterial biofilms to remove nutrients in the waters that they grow in.
Reeds were used by Aboriginal groups for various purposes including rafts made from layered and bound stems, baskets made from the leaves and long, light spears made from the stems.Back Return to top