The narrow, green or blue-green leaves of Phragmites australis grow alternately along the stems in two opposing ranks. They reach dimensions of 35 cm long and 3,5 cm wide.
The common name of fluitjiesriet comes from the single note, high pitched whistle that children make from the top, young leaf from a stem.
The flowers grow at stem tops in dark purplish panicles. The many spikelets in one panicle gradually age to a pale grey or silvery-grey appearance, enhanced by long, silky hairs. Flowering occurs in summer and autumn (Vlok and Schutte-Vlok, 2010; Wikipedia).