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The reeds rustled

Can your body of water do without reeds and is it worth depriving yourself of such a pacifying image? I think no. But let's figure out what we call reeds and whether it is a reed at all.

Real reeds (Scirpus) - a plant of the sedge family with a creeping underground rhizome and dark green erect naked shoots, on which only rudimentary scaly leaves remain. Variety lake reeds(Scirpus lacustris)«Albescens " is in no way inferior to the natural species in terms of growth power. It also forms shoots up to 3 m in height, but is much more decorative due to the longitudinal white-green stripes on the leaves. This plant is most suitable for large bodies of water and looks advantageous when planted in contrast to the usual species form. Even more interesting reed Tabernemontana(Scirpus tabernaemontanii)«Zebrinus " with a unique color. Its shoots are ringed with clear white stripes so that the plant really resembles a zebra. This reed usually reaches 1-1.2 m, rarely higher.

After reading these lines, someone might be surprised: “What stems are we talking about, I was sitting with leaves and beautiful lush meteca inflorescences? ..” This is a quite common misconception. In this case, we mean a plant of a completely different family. Its full name is southern reed(Phragmites australis). A large cereal with a powerful branching underground rhizome, erect stems up to three meters or more, bearing bluish-green leaves along the entire length (pay attention to this!). Large (30-40 cm) panicle inflorescences during flowering have a beautiful purple-lilac color. The aboveground part is preserved in the winter and during the next season. Of greatest interest for garden ponds is the reed variety «Variegatus "... It is distinguished from its natural appearance by its slightly smaller size and growth rate, as well as bright golden-yellow stripes on the leaves. Even on the most cloudy day, the plant still glows, as if illuminated by the sun.

And, finally, the third species, also often referred to as "reeds", is cattail (Typha). Everyone is familiar with its powerful shoots, bearing beautiful brown soft "cones" and linear vertical leaves, often used in the arrangement. The most popular species in horticulture is small cattail(Typha minima). It is a graceful plant with thin leaves (up to 4 mm) and a height of only 75-80 cm. The stems are crowned with miniature round seedlings about 3 cm in diameter. Unfortunately, the planting material imported to Russia from Europe does not always give a good result).

much larger, but also very beautiful cattail graceful(Typha gracilis). This plant fully justifies its name, its height is about 1.5 m, the leaves are narrow (up to 10 mm), and beautiful seedlings reach a length of 15 cm. There are variegated forms.

Cattail and reeds have two types of roots: soil roots, which serve to consolidate and soil nutrition, and aquatic, which assimilate nutrients from water. That is why the thickets of these plants are an important element in the self-cleaning of water bodies.

TO plants are undemanding to the quality of the soil, but the best results are obtained when using rich substrates. Good sunlight is preferable, but partial shade is also possible, however, variegated forms will not look so impressive.

These plants are used in the form of clumps when decorating the coastal part of large bodies of water. In small compositions, they can be assigned the role of a tapeworm. Their combination with an open water surface and various broad-leaved plants is especially effective.

Despite its large size, it is very interesting to use "reeds" as container plants when decorating patios, balconies, etc. It should only be remembered that, like most aquatic plants, they vigorously evaporate water, so its reserves must be constantly replenished.

Yuri Bazhenov

(Based on materials from the magazine "Stylish Garden", May-June 2003)