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Useful Tropical Plants

Phragmites karka

(Retz.) Trin. ex Steud.

Poaceae


The name Phragmites vallatorius (accepted here as a synonym) is sometimes used as the correct name for this species. The name is based on Arundo vallatoria L. (also accepted here as a synonym), but this name was not validly published so cannot be used as the correct name[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

+ Synonyms

Arundo corea Rottler ex Hook.f

Arundo karka Retz.

Arundo roxburghii Kunth

Arundo tecta Blanco

Arundo tibialis Roxb. ex Wall.

Arundo vallatoria L.

Calamagrostis karka (Retz.) J.F.Gmel.

Oxyanthe japonica (Steud.) Steud

Phragmites bifarius Wight ex Hook.f

Phragmites cinctus (Hook.f.) B.S.Sun

Phragmites communis zeylanicus Nees

Phragmites japonicus prostratus (Makino) L.Liu

Phragmites laxiflorus Steud

Phragmites nepalensis Nees ex Steud

Phragmites prostratus Makino

Phragmites roxburghii (Kunth) Steud.

Phragmites vallatorius (L.) Veldkamp

Sericura japonica Steud

Trichoon karka (Retz.) Roth

Trichoon roxburghii (Kunth) W.Wight

Common Name:

Phragmites karka
Growing plant
Photograph by: Show_ryu
Creative Commons License
Phragmites karka Phragmites karka Phragmites karka Phragmites karka

General Information

Phragmites karka is a robust, herbaceous perennial grass producing somewhat woody culms that can be 4 - 10 metres tall and 15 - 25mm in diameter from an extensive, creeping rhizome. In the correct conditions, the plant can produce large areas of dense growth that excludes most other plant growth[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
372
Title
Flowers of India
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.flowersofindia.net/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A wed site of native Indian plants, plus cultivated and naturalized species. It has good quality photos and terse details on more than 3,000 species and cultivars.
].
The plant has a wide range of local uses, mainly as a source of materials but also for food. It can be planted by rivers as a means of protecting the soil from erosion and can also be planted in beds in order to purify water.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Widely spread through tropical Africa, tropical and subtropical Asia to New Guinea, Australia and the Pacific.

Habitat

Warm swampy valleys and river banks at elevations up to 1,000 metres in southern China[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Grows in sunny areas in and on the banks of streams, lakes and billabongs in rainforest, vineforest, various types of woodland and wooded grassland[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitPerennial
Height6.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

A plant of tropical to subtropical regions, usually at lower elevations but ascending to 2,000 metres in New Guinea[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. Because it often grows in swamps and standing water it is not so sensitive to rainfall and, when growing in water, has been found growing in areas with a mean annual rainfall as low as 200mm[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
].
Grows best in a sunny position[
713
Title
Australian Tropical Rainforest Plants
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.anbg.gov.au/cpbr/cd-keys/rfk/index.html
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online resource giving botanical information, and a little bit about plant usage, for over 2,700 species of plants found in the Australian rainforest.
]. Requires a very moist to a wet soil, also succeeding in shallow standing water[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. Usually found in clay soils[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
]. Tolerant of strongly acid soils, it tolerates a pH range from 4.5 - 7.5[
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
].

Edible Uses

Young shoots - cooked. They can be eaten like asparagus or bamboo sprouts[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. In China they are taken out of their sheaths and preserved by drying with a coating of salt on them, to be stored for cooking purposes[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

Beds of this plant can be used for water purification purposes[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant has a dense root system and is an excellent species for planting by water to protect the land from erosion[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
375
Title
Grassland Species - Profiles
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.fao.org/ag/AGP/AGPC/doc/Gbase/Default.htm
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Terse information on over 650 species of plants that grow in grassland, including trees, shrubs and perennial plants as well as grasses. Gives a brief description of the plant, its range and habitat and some of its uses.
].
The plant seems to be a reliable indicator of fresh water[
354
Title
Plants of Guam
Publication
 
Author
Moore P.H. & McMakin P.
Website
http://university.uog.edu/cals/people/POG/scipn.htm
Publisher
University of Guam.
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details, usually with a photo, of plants native to the island of Guam, often together with some information on their uses. An online version is available.
].When growing near tidal areas there is usually a sharp division between this species and the plants which grow in brackish water[
354
Title
Plants of Guam
Publication
 
Author
Moore P.H. & McMakin P.
Website
http://university.uog.edu/cals/people/POG/scipn.htm
Publisher
University of Guam.
Year
1979
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details, usually with a photo, of plants native to the island of Guam, often together with some information on their uses. An online version is available.
].

Other Uses

The panicles can be arranged in a fan-like manner form a broom, whilst the culms are tightly bound to a central strengthening piece of bamboo to form a handle. These brooms are of great utility, especially for sweeping highly polished floors, and were extensively used in the Philippines[
345
Title
Minor Products of Philippine Forests
Publication
 
Author
Brown. W. H.
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry, Manilla.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A useful guide to some of the plants of the area, though terse on details. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from the Internet.
].

The stems have been used for weaving coarse hats, mats, hurdles etc[
345
Title
Minor Products of Philippine Forests
Publication
 
Author
Brown. W. H.
Publisher
Bureau of Forestry, Manilla.
Year
1920
ISBN
 
Description
A useful guide to some of the plants of the area, though terse on details. The book is out of copyright and can be legally downloaded from the Internet.
,
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. They are split and woven into coarse matting for covering the sides of houses, for partitions, and for ceilings, often covered with whitewash or mud, and serving as laths for plastering[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

The stems can be used for fuel[
459
Title
The Useful Plants of the Island of Guam
Publication
Contributions from the United States National Herbarium Vol 9
Author
Safford W.E.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
Smithsonian Institute; Washington.
Year
1905
ISBN
 
Description
A very comprehensive, if rather dated, guide to the plants of Guam. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a light position. Keep the soil moist by emmersing the pot in 3cm of water. Germination usually takes place quite quickly. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and plant them out when large enough.
Division at any time, but especially when the plant is coming into new growth. Very simple, any part of the root that has a growth bud will grow into a new plant. Larger divisions can be planted out direct into their permanent positions.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-06-17. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Phragmites%20karka>

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