Giant Reed (Arundo donax)
|Common Name||Latin Name||Plant Family|
Brooms are made from the terminal panicles.
Plants are grown alongside irrigation canals to check soil erosion.
The plant can be grown as a windbreak screen[1, 169]. If cut down, the culms branch and in this form the plants can be used as a hedge.
The leaves can be woven into mats etc, whilst the split and flattened stems are used to make screens, walls of houses etc[46, 50, 61, 84].
A yellow dye is obtained from the pollen.
The stems of the plant have a multitude of applications. They are used as plant supports for vines and other climbing plants[7, 169, 269] and to make clarinets, bag-pipes etc[46, 61, 103]. They are also used as pipe stems, for roofing, to make screens, walking sticks and in basketry[100, 195]. They are used to make the reeds of clarinets and organ pipes. The stems can be harvested as desired at any time of the year.
The fibre from the stems can be used to make a good quality paper. This plant is currently (1995) under investigation at Rosewarne in Cornwall as a potential commercial paper crop for small-scale industries in SW. England[K].
Because of rather high yields from natural stands, the plant has been suggested as a source of biomass for energy production[7, 269]. Dry cane yields of ca 10, 15, and 20 tonnes per hectare were reported respectively from infertile, partly fertile and fertile soils. According to the phytomass files annual productivity ranges from 10 to 59 tonnes per hectare, the latter figure from Westlake’s (1963) estimate of 57 – 59 tonnes. In addendum, Westlake cites evidence that Arundo donax can produce 40-75 MT/ha/yr. in warm temperate and tropical regions. Early vegetative growth has ME (metabolizable energy) of 2.22 megacalories/kg DM, while hay has an ME of only 1.37 (Gohl, 1981). Such annual productivity, if sustainable, makes this a notable energy candidate, especially when one considers the energy as a by-product, with leaf protein and potential pharmaceutical as primary products.
A particular type of cellulose is obtained from the plant. In Italy, the plant is used in the manufacture of rayon.
Cultivation & Habitat
Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.
*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] , see bibliography.