Phragmites at Mires Beck Nursery
Phragmites australis, or the Common Reed, is a vigorous, perennial member of the grass family commonly found growing in damp and wet conditions often at the edge of ponds, lakes and rivers. It forms substantial stands which can cover large areas if left to establish naturally. The reeds can be cut to provide thatching material. This is still practiced in parts of East Anglia. The common reed grows to around 2 metres in height and produce purple coloured seedheads in the autumn which persist well into the winter. Growth dies back as the following year’s young shoots emerge in spring.
As Phragmites is such a vigorous plant which can become invasive, it is not recommended for the average garden situation.
Phragmites are often planted to create new reed-beds around lakes formed after quarrying activity. Reed-beds provide habitat for a number of birds including the Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Bearded Tit, Marsh Harrier and the elusive Bittern. There is evidence that newly created reed-beds in North Yorkshire are encouraging the gradual migration of the Bittern further northwards.
Phragmites have the ability to remove pollutants from water and are used for small scale sewerage treatment schemes and also in industrial and commercial situations where there may be a level of contaminants in run-off (for example at Heathrow Airport).
Phragmites establish and grow strongly when temperatures are high. We recommend that plugs and plants should be planted before the middle of July to ensure suitable establishment before the first winter. Young plants are susceptible to frosts and will be killed by frost if not sufficiently established.
Young plants can also be drowned. Whilst mature plants will be quite happy growing in 30 – 100 cm of water it is very important not to cover young plants with water in the early stages of establishment.
We grow Phragmites mainly as ‘Rootrainer’ plugs which are available from early June. We also use a larger plug system for plants that will be supplied as 1 year old plants. Larger plants in a 1 litre pot are sometimes available.
We can usually supply small orders of up to 200 plugs from stock. Larger orders, especially over 1000 plugs will have to be grown to order and so suitable notice needs to be given. For plugs to be delivered in June, we need to receive an order by the middle of March.
Delivery charges apply for any delivery made by courier.
Deposits required for large scale wildflower and phragmites production orders.
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