What is cumbungi?(Typha latifolia)
- Cumbungi (also known as bullrush) is a name given to a group of three similar plant species found in Tasmania. Cumbungi (Typha latifolia) is a weed, while broadleaf cumbungi (T. orientalis) and narrowleaf cumbungi (T. domingensis) are native to Tasmania.
is a troublesome weed of farm dams, creeks, ponds and slow moving
rivers in Tasmania. The two native cumbungi are not weeds, but can
sometimes become a problem in poorly managed dams and waterways on
How to identify cumbungi
- Cumbungi are
semi-aquatic plants growing in lakes, dams, irrigation channels, marshes
and rivers where the flow is slow and dissolved nutrient levels are
- The grass-like leaves are thick and spongy, and are borne
on either side of a stout, cane-like stem growing to 2.5 m high. The
flower head is produced in summer. Each stem produces one flower head
divided into an upper spike of male flowers, and below this a
cylindrical spike of female flowers.
- The introduced cumbungi
(T. latifolia) can be distinguished from the two native cumbungi by the
colour and size of the flower head.
- For the introduced
cumbungi, the female (or lower and cylindrical) part of the flower head
is blackish-brown in colour, 100-200 mm long and 15-30 mm in diameter.
- The female flower head of broadleaf cumbungi is chestnut-brown in colour, 100-200 mm long and 15 - 25 mm in diameter.
- The female flower head of narrowleaf cumbungi is cinnamon-brown in colour, 120-300 mm long and 6-15 mm in diameter.
- See the Cumbungi Fact Sheet
for more information in distinguishing between the three species. If
you are in doubt about the cumbungi you are dealing with, contact your
Regional Weed Management Officer on 1300 368 550 for help.
Image top: Cumbungi, photo: T. Rudman.
Images above, left to right: Cumbungi infestation (T. Rudman); Cumbungi flowers.
Cumbungi in Tasmania
introduced cumbungi is found throughout the State in farm dams, creeks,
ponds and slow moving rivers. Cumbungi is continuing to spread in
Tasmania as fertiliser and animal manures are washed into waterways,
creating the nutrient-rich waters cumbungi prefers.
- Cumbungi can
reduce the holding capacity and access areas of dams and waterways. In
rivers, creeks, and irrigation and drainage channels, cumbungi can
restrict and even block water flow. Destruction of the weed can also
result in a large amount of decaying vegetation polluting the water and
blocking pump intakes, channels and ditches.
Detailed management and control guidelines for cumbungi can be found in the Cumbungi Control Guide. Refer also to Herbicides for Cumbungi Control.
See also:Cumbungi Control Guide
Herbicides for Cumbungi Control
Weed Links and Resources
Cumbungi Fact Sheet
Other useful links:
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