Finke Gorge National Park

FloraCommon Reed Ghost Gum MacDonnell Ranges Cycad Narrow-leaved Cumbungi Native Fig Orange Spade Flower Red Cabbage Palm Soft Spinifex White Indigo

Typha domingensis, known commonly as Bulrush, Southern Cattail (an America common name), Cumbungi, Narrow-leaved Cumbungi and Gumbung.

Belonging to the genus Typha, of about 30 species of monocotyledonous flowering plants, Typha domingensis is found throughout temperate and tropical regions across the world, including all Australian states and territories.

A tall, erect perennial, with flat strap-like leaves from 100 to 200 centimetres long. A rhizomatous reed that spreads by underground stems.

The flowering stem has the familiar looking brown cylindrical shape, which is the densely packed flowers, that slowly releases as a fluffy white mass. The terminal spike of the male flower is above the female flower on the same stem (approximately 60-200 mm apart).

Typha domingensis (Common reed), Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park
Typha domingensis (Common reed), Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park

Western Arrarnta people used to cook and eat the roots of these bullrushes, which grow thickly along the Finke River in their country. It is believed that this species of bullrushes have been spread by feral animals to springs and waterholes where they never used to occur.

Many thanks to Meg Mooney for ID and information of this species, Admin Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club, Facebook group.

Typha domingensis (Common reed), Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park
Typha domingensis (Common reed), Palm Valley, Finke Gorge National Park


  • Scientific classification
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Clade: Commelinids
  • Order: Poales
  • Family: Typhaceae
  • Genus: Typha
  • Species: T. domingensis
  • Binomial name: Typha domingensis

Footnote & References

  1. Alice Springs Field Naturalists Club, https://www.facebook.com/groups/alicefieldnats
  2. Typha domingensis, Narrowleaf Cumbungi, Gumbung – :Local Plant Directory, Yarra Ranges Council, https://www.yarraranges.vic.gov.au/PlantDirectory/Aquatic-Semi-aquatic/Typha-domingensis


Finke Gorge National ParkCamping & Picnic Area Boggy Hole Palm Valley Fauna Flora

FloraCommon Reed Ghost Gum MacDonnell Ranges Cycad Narrow-leaved Cumbungi Native Fig Orange Spade Flower Red Cabbage Palm Soft Spinifex White Indigo