Phragmites Australis

WolfLH wolflh at
Tue Oct 1 12:45:23 EST 1996

>In UK Phragmites is a native, and as a habitat reed beds are under threat
due to drainage.  It 
>is used as the source of Norfolk Reed and as such is used and has been
for centuries as a 
>thatching material. This means that it is managed by cutting in winter
and then extracted 
>by boat.  Its ecolgical importance is great as it provides habitat for
the very endangered 
>Bitterne, various elusive warblers, Marsh Harrier and Otters and Harvest
Mice.  It also 
>provides important cover for fish fry and invertebrates.  All in all its
very useful and not 
>something we would want to eradicate.

>Where it is managed on various reserves the cut reed is frequently 
>used as screening panels for bird hides.

Thanks for the useful info on uses for P. australis. Here in the US it
tends to outcompete native species of reeds and grasses that are useful as
food sources/habitat in wetlands. Frequently people try to eradicate it
using the herbicide Rodeo. We are hoping to find that it can be useful and
that control (perhaps by harvesting) might be a better method than
eradication. Your post was very helpful.

Valerie L'Herrou

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