Reed (plant)

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Reeds growing in saltmarsh in the estuary of the River Tay.
A German thatcher using reed

Reed is common name for several tall, grass-like plants of wetlands. They are all members of the order Poales (in the modern, expanded circumscription), and include:

In the Poaceae (grass) family
In the Cyperaceae (sedge) family
  • Paper reed or papyrus (Cyperus papyrus), the source of the Ancient Egyptian writing material, also used for making boats
In the Sparganiaceae family
In the Typhaceae family
  • Reed-mace (Typha species), also called bulrush or cattail
In the Restionaceae family
  • Cape thatching reed (Elegia tectorum), a restio originating from the South-western Cape, South Africa.
  • Thatching reed (Thamnochortus insignis), another restio species originating from the same geographic region.

Use in thatching[edit]

Main article: Thatching

Phragmites australis, the common reed, is used in many areas for thatching roofs. In the United Kingdom, common reed used for this purpose is known as "Norfolk reed" or "water reed". However, "wheat reed" and "Devon reed" are not in fact reed at all, but long-stemmed wheat straw.

See also[edit]