common reed


: a tall reed (Phragmites australis synonym P. communis) that is widely distributed in moist areas and spreads quickly by creeping rhizomes and that has broad, flat leaves and large, bushy panicles
Some aggressive weeds, such as Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), common reed (Phragmites australis, sometimes called P. communis) and Japanese honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) have very deep or extensive rhizomes that are nearly impossible to dig out unless you use a back hoe or steam shovel.Henry W. Art, Brooklyn Botanic Garden Inc., Winter 1996

Note: Common reed has been used for weaving mats, screens, and lattices and for making arrow shafts.

called also carrizo, ditch reed, giant reed

Word History

First Known Use

1640, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of common reed was in 1640

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Cite this Entry

“Common reed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

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