One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A common and invasive tall reed.
Genus Phragmites, family Gramineae: several species, in particular the common reed (P. communis)
- ‘Mr. Leahy, who is Kilmeaden's local county councillor, pointed out that there were no less than 40 different species of aquatic life growing in and around the lagoons, with about 10 to 12 main species such as thyfa, iris and phragmites.’
- ‘Ring-necked pheasants, descendants from flocks released for a hunting estate in the nineteenth century, dart between clumps of phragmites.’
- ‘Zebra mussels, phragmites, and exotic snails are but a few of the more pervasive impediments to the recovery of some listed species.’
- ‘Cattails and bulrushes will replace the invasive phragmites that have choked the waterways.’
- ‘There is a small, rank pond hidden from most casual viewers behind a wall of phragmites.’
- ‘Below, the greens of windswept reeds and phragmites are intersected constantly by the twisting, interlocking Hackensack and Passaic Rivers, canal drainages, raised highways and railroad tracks.’
- ‘I found that by going behind one of the buildings I got a great view of a little lagoon surrounded by phragmites.’
Modern Latin, from Greek phragmitēs ‘growing in hedges’, from phragma ‘hedge’.
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