Is the tallest grass in southern marshes, springs, and along banks of streams and lakes.
Grows best in firm mineral clay soils.
Tolerates moderate salinity.
Does best if the water level fluctuates from 6 inches below the soil surface to 6 inches above.
Although the leaves are coarse, common reed is readily eaten by cattle and horses. Provides high quality warm-season forage in the early stages of growth, but becomes tough and unpalatable after maturity.
Mexicans of the southwest have used common reed for lattices in constructing their adobe houses, and the Indians used the stems for arrows and for weaving mats and carrying nets.