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A picture of a Common Reed

Common Reed

Phragmites australis

Also known as

Norfolk Reed, Bennels, Carrizo, Danube Grass, Ditch Reed, Nal, Pole Reed, Spire Reed, Spires, Giant Reed, Phragmites, Reed Grass, Reed

Full Sun
Easy care
Frequent watering
Frost Hardy


RHS hardiness


Minimum temperature

Expected size








10 years to reach maturity


  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

More images of Common Reed

A photo of Common Reed
A photo of Common Reed
A photo of Common Reed
A photo of Common Reed
A photo of Common Reed

Common Reed Overview

Phragmites australis is a cosmopolitan perennial grass/reed, with grey-green leaves and a light brown to purple inflorescence. The flowers are surrounded by silky white hairs. In late summer to mid-autumn, these glistening, plume-like spikelets are a joy to see. Where conditions are favourable for its growth, Phragmites australis can form large stands, as much as much as 1 square kilometre or more in extent. As a vigorous grass, it produces rhizomes (horizontal runners) which help its spread. It is commonly seen growing well in damp ground, or even in standing water up to 1 metre or so deep. It can also tolerate brackish water, as well as being able to grow by the sea in estuaries or salt marshes, making it a great choice for naturlistic lakeside plantings!

How to propagate Common Reed


Special features of Common Reed

Wind break

Hedge plant

Wet sites