COMMON REED (Phragmites australis) 'Bush Tucker Seeds'
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Phragmites australis is a multipurpose grass. The stems are used in construction for thatching and to make walls, partitions and fences, and as insulation material. They are used for plaiting baskets, mats, clothing.
Edible parts of Common Reed:
Root - raw or cooked like potatoes. It contains up to 5% sugar. The flavour and texture are best when the root is young and still growing. It can be dried, ground coarsely and used as a porridge.
Young shoots - raw or cooked. They are best if used before the leaves form, when they are really delicious. They can be used like bamboo shoots.
Seed - raw or cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a flour. The seed is rather small and difficult to remove from the husk but it is said to be very nutritious.
A sugar is extracted from the stalks / stems. A sweet liquorice-like taste, it can be eaten raw or cooked. The stems can be boiled in water and then the water boiled off in order to obtain the sugar. A sugary gum that exudes from the stems can be rolled into balls and eaten as sweets. A powder extracted from the dried stems can be moistened and roasted like marshmallow.
surface sow in spring in a light position. Keep soil moist by emmersing the pot in 3cm of water. Germination usually takes place quite quickly. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle, plant them out in the summer.
P. australis is cultivated as an ornamental plant in aquatic and marginal settings such as pond- and lakesides. Its aggressive colonisation means it must be sited with care. Phragmites is a fast growing grass that forms extensive dense thickets.
Fast growing cane like grass with green leaves and is deciduous over winter.
H: 1 metre to 3 metres W
Flowers in Autumn and seeds in winter with large fluffy white seed heads.
Not available for postage to Western Australia