Reeds for breakfast, dinner and tea

Common Reed (Phragmites australis)

Common Reed (Phragmites australis)

I’ve raided the Plants for a Future web site again for this.

Common Reed (Phragmites australis) is the reed that make reed beds, and which is used for thatching.

But you can eat it in quite a few different ways. I quote:

The roots, which contain 5% sugar, are edible and can be dried, ground coarsely and used as a porridge. The young shoots can be eaten raw or cooked and the seed is also edible.

If the stem is wounded it exudes a sugary substance which hardens upon exposure to the air. This can be eaten raw or roasted – indeed, the dried and ground inner stem can be moistened and then roasted to make a marshmallow substitute.

Has anyone out there actually eaten reeds? I await comments with interest.

By the way, there’s no reason you can’t grow it in your garden pond. People say its too invasive but in a modest garden pond keeping it where you want shouldn’t be a big problem.


One Response to “Reeds for breakfast, dinner and tea”

  1. Jessica Ross Says:

    Unfortunately Phragmites australis is invasive in Canada. It’s taking over roadsides and watersheds and infringing on native plants, reducing habitat. I’d discourage anyone from growing it outside of the area to which it’s native – you never know where the seeds will end up!

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