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Cumbungi (Bulrush)

Typha sp.


Cumbungi is a generic term given to three aquatic plant species of the Typha genus that are found in Australia: T. domingensis (native), T. orientalis (native), and T. latifolia (introduced). They are also commonly known as ‘bulrush' (or bullrush). When ripe, the heads disintegrate into a cottony fluff from which the seeds disperse by wind. From a distance, you'd be forgiven for thinking they were some kind of nest belonging to a bird or rodent. Long spike in excess of 2 metres. All three species found in Australia can have a very positive or negative impact on any waterway/wetland environment. Infestations of cumbungi interfere with water flows in natural watercourses and drains, and can affect water quality and access to water.


This Cumbungi was spotted at the freshwater Metroplex wetlands in Murarrie, Brisbane QLD.


An interesting read. Despite its invasive tendencies, the various Typha species are also a valuable food source. In Australia, it's what we would call "bush tucker", and in other cases it is a valuable survival food The Wikipedia link also lists numerous other uses for this aquatic plant. It may be invasive in a number of wetland habitats, but it also has numerous qualities that make it useful, and potentially valuable.

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Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, QLD, Australia

Spotted on Apr 10, 2014
Submitted on Apr 16, 2014

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