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[
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
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[
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.
Widely spread through tropical Africa, tropical and subtropical Asia to New Guinea, Australia and the Pacific.
Warm swampy valleys and river banks at elevations up to 1,000 metres in southern China[
]. Grows in sunny areas in and on the banks of streams, lakes and billabongs in rainforest, vineforest, various types of woodland and wooded grassland[
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A plant of tropical to subtropical regions, usually at lower elevations but ascending to 2,000 metres in New Guinea[
]. 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[
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Requires a very moist to a wet soil, also succeeding in shallow standing water[
]. Usually found in clay soils[
]. Tolerant of strongly acid soils, it tolerates a pH range from 4.5 - 7.5[
Young shoots - cooked. They can be eaten like asparagus or bamboo sprouts[
]. 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[
Beds of this plant can be used for water purification purposes[
The plant has a dense root system and is an excellent species for planting by water to protect the land from erosion[
The plant seems to be a reliable indicator of fresh water[
].When growing near tidal areas there is usually a sharp division between this species and the plants which grow in brackish water[
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[
The stems have been used for weaving coarse hats, mats, hurdles etc[
]. 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[
The stems can be used for fuel[
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.
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