PLANT PROFILE

 

NAME: Reedgrass

LATIN NAME / FAMILY:  Phragmites australis /             Poaceae or Gramineae

OTHER COMMON NAME(S):  common reed, wild broomcorn

CONDITIONS: sun, marsh
 

PARTS:

EDIBLE cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

TASTE

RAW/COOK

SEASON

All

 

 

 

 

Shoots

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

sweet

RAW/COOK

Spring

Leaves

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

     

Stalk/Stem

sweet/liquorice

RAW/COOK

Summer

Buds

       

Flowers

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

 

 

 

Pods

 

 

   

Seeds

cid:image001.jpg@01D3EC3E.A305A520

 

RAW/COOK

Summer/Fall

Nuts

 

 

 

 

Roots

best young

 

RAW/COOK

Fall

Bark

 

 

 

 

 

PORTION: medium

 

COMMENT: Sweetener. Root - It contains up to 5% sugar. Raw, cook like potato, or dried, ground coarsely and used as porridge. Young shoots - best if used before leaves form, really delicious, used like bamboo shoots. Unfolded leaves used as potherb. Japanese dry young leaves, grind them into a powder and mix them with cereal flour when making dumplings. Seed - ground into a powder and used as a flour, very nutritious. Sugar is extracted from the stalks or wounded stems, sweet liquorice-like taste. 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.(1)

 

CAUTION: Avoid polluted waters and cook water plants to kill any bacteria or other water-born parasites.

 

NUTRITION/MEDICINAL:  The stems are reported to contain 4.8 g protein, 0.8 g fat, 90.0 g total carbohydrate, 41.2 g fiber, and 4.4 g ash.(1) Antiasthmatic;  Antidote;  Antiemetic;  Antitussive;  Depurative;  Diuretic;  Febrifuge;  Lithontripic;  Miscellany;  Refrigerant;  Sialagogue;  Stomachic;  Styptic. (1)  The Paiute used common reedís sugary sap to treat lung ailments. The Apache used its rhizomes to treat diarrhea, stomach troubles, earaches, and toothaches.(2)

 

LOOK-A-LIKES:  

 

POISONOUS LOOK-A-LIKES:  Yellow Flag Iris, Blue Flag Iris

 

OTHER USES: Basketry;  Biomass;  Broom;  Cork;  Dye;  Fibre;  Fuel;  Furniture;  Insulation;  Miscellany;  Paper;  Pencil;  Soil stabilization;  Thatching;  Weaving. (1)

 

SOURCE LINKS (may include nutritional and medicinal info, plus other uses):

1.      https://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Phragmites+australis  

2.      http://www.eattheweeds.com/common-reed  

3.      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phragmites  

4.      http://www.survivallandusa.com/Phragmites-Communis-Australis-Reed-Grass-Edible.html (good photos)