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Cumbungi (Bulrush)

Typha sp.

Description:

Cumbungi is a generic term given to three aquatic plant species of the Typha genus, and the only three 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.

Habitat:

Spotted on the freshwater Quart Pot Creek pond, in the township of Stanthorpe, SEQ. Despite the drought, there was still sufficient, clean water in the creek and ponds. PS: Here are the little birds you can see in the 4th photo - https://www.projectnoah.org/spottings/69...

Notes:

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 https://www.survival.org.au/bf_typha.php... 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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Comments

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

QLD, Australia

Lat: -28.66, Long: 151.94

Spotted on Feb 28, 2019
Submitted on Mar 1, 2019

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