What are Phragwrites

What are Phragwrites?

Phragwrites, pronounced [FRAG-right-ease], are pens constructed with an invasive strain of the plant Phragmites australis , also called the common reed.  Originally from Europe, this strain grows in dense stands that disrupt the ecology of North American wetlands, especially along the Atlantic Coast. Learn More
All Phragwrites pens are made from reed stalks collected in New Hampshire,from areas overrun by the 15 foot-tall plants. Permission from the NH Department of Environmental Services was obtained to collect the plants.

To prevent the spread of this plant, only the middle part of the reed is collected.  The rhizomes, or roots, are left in the soil and the top seed head is cut and left in the same location. Collection of reeds for pens has minimal impact on the overall population of Phragmites, however, complete cutting for 3-4 consecutive years does decrease stand density and creates a more diverse habitat.

REMEMBER: A PERMIT IS REQUIRED TO COLLECT ANY INVASIVE PLANT. GREAT CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN TO NOT DISTRIBUTE SEEDS, ROOTS, OR SHOOTS.

Details about the pens

  • There are varying amounts of reed in each pen. The Lighty is comprised of about 85% reed and just a bit of wood for the nozzle.  The ink cartridge is the only non-biodegradable item in a Lighty.
  • The High and Mighty, Atlas, and Mag Phrag all utilize finished metal components, very similiar to manufactured pens from Cross, Parker and other famous name brands. The Phrag on the more expensive pens is sanded smooth.
  • The Lighty pens are coated with three coats of water-based acrylic.  The Mighty, Atlas, and Mag pens are coated with friction wax.