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Cumbungi (Bulrush)

Typha sp.


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.


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...


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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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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