Typha orientalis – Bullrush

This common species is found in eastern and northern Australia and in Asia. It grows in bodies of water and in boggy areas, and grows from rhizomes. It is considered a weed in some parts of Australia. Produces both male and female flowers, the latter being the familiar brown velvety area on the Cumbungi. The plant is traditionally an Aboriginal source of food, amongst other resources it provides. The rhizomes can be roasted, new shoots eaten fresh and young flower stems steamed. The seed heads can be added to flour for baking, and contain protein. The leaves are useful for weaving into baskets, hats and mats, and all parts of the plant can be used for thatching.

Scientific Name:Typha orientalis
Common Name:Bullrush
Other Common Names:Cumbungi
Plant Type:Clumping perennial, Aquatic
Height:2 ~ 4.5 metres
Width:1 metre
Flower Colour:Brown
Flowering Time:Summer
Ph Level:Acid, Neutral, Alkaline
Soil Type:Sandy, Clay, Loamy, Sandy loam, Clay loam, Poor soil
Plant Environment:Low maintenance garden
Climate Zone:Sub-tropical, Warm temperate
Light:Sunny, Light shade, Half shade
Growth Habit:Evergreen, Spreading, Column-shaped
Soil Moisture:Moist moderate drainage, Boggy poorly drained
Propagation Method:Seed, Division
Frost Tolerance:Tolerates light frost
Special Uses:Edible, Bog gardens, Fast growing






Once you have found the plant that you want, the next step is to find where to get it. Visit or ring your favourite nursery to see if they have it in stock. If they don’t, they may be able to order it in for you.  Specialist nurseries are also able to give great advice, and if they don’t have the plant you want, they can often suggest an alternative to you. Below is a list of our favourite specialist nurseries, and some who do mail order. Click on the links for their details-


The Wildflower Place Erina – NSW 


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Newcastle Wildflower Nursery – NSW


Cool Country Natives – ACT


Wimmera Native Nursery – Victoria


Zanthorrea Nursery – Perth WA


Manuka Native Nursery – South Australia


Sydney Wildflower Nursery – mail order


The Native Shop – mail order




Angus recommends Bush Tucker fertiliser for native plants.