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Phragmites australis | Common Reed (Pt 2 of 2)

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Published on Jul 23, 2012

MNEMONIC EXPLAINED: When you see a flag pole with a flag (seed heads can ascend but typically hang or drape to one side; flag-like) on it you know that it represents a king and his kingdom because the flag is, or was, purple (seed heads are purplish [a color commonly associated with royalty] and turn brownish or tan when the kingdom fades [dries up and dies]; can sometimes appear fluffy; the fluffy [like clouds of smoke] appearance represent how the former kingdom [thus the flag] was burned up by the enemy [it went up in smoke]). You notice that the pole is cane-like (can also resemble bamboo when green) so you decide to use it for cane fishing (this plant grows in equatic areas). To prepare your fishing pole it must be stripped-down. Use the alternating pegs (leaves alternate along the stem), going up the pole, and climb to the top (as a logger or phone repair man do/did) in order to remove the flag. Now remove the alternating pegs on you way back down (bend them back towards the ground). The pole is clean except for the hairs around the area where the pegs were torn away (the ligules are hairy [basically where the leaf meets the stem is separated or pulled back; watch video] plus after the stem dries and sheds it's leaves this plant has tiny hairs or pubescence around the nodes/joints where the leaves were). At each node along the pole, tie just 2 of these hairs together to make loops (the hairs in this area won't be long enough to tie in reality; just a reminder about the tiny hairs at the nodes which helps to distinguish it from some of it's look-alikes). Now thread your fishing line trough the loops. Bait your hook with one of the many worms that are on ground (the worms represent the stolons [rooting and sprouting stems, just above the ground, that connect multiple plants together]). You've spent the whole day fishing and only caught a sward sheath (leaves are long, flat when mature, narrow and end in a long point). Not a sward fish and not a sward; only a sward sheath (a sward, with it's cross-guard would represent leaf auricles [watch video]; this plant's auricles are absent so it's leaves are best represented by a sward sheath [no cross-guard]; FYI this plant looks most like the partially edible Arundo donax but Arundo leaves are wrinkled at the base, not flat like your sheath; Arundo leaves also have auricles [a cross-guard]). It must have belonged to one of the kings knights. Anyway, you dig for some rope (rhizomes root system) to tie around your waist to hold the hold the sheath in case you came across an actual sward later.

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