A perennial aquatic plant with flower spikes that are velvety brown and leaves that are long and strap-like that are up to 1.5m in length. Flowering during Summer and seeds are wind and water dispersed. Some regard the plant as a pest (invader) due to it's fast growing nature and easy germination from wind born-seed. It has strong lateral roots from rhizomes that can tolerate full submergence in water and drought conditions. Provides shelter for frogs and other aquatic life. Used as a traditional medicine for treating venereal diseases, during pregnancy, to improve circulation, for diarrhoea and dysentery. The rhizomes and pollen can be eaten by humans and leaves in weaving of hand brooms and thatching. The flowers can be dipped in kerosene for torches. The plant is also used in water purification. Uses: Used in weaving, a food source and has traditional medicinal uses. ZA Distribution: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape.