Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Phragmites karka

Phragmites karka is a very tall perennial common reed grows in thick pure stands on swampy lands.  The stems grow up to 5 meters in height and 2-3cm in diameter. 

The origin of P.karka is uncertain.  However it is widely distributed all over the Old World’s tropical regons.

Common name : Bayongbong, glagah asu, gumulong, kasongket, palungpung, parongpong, perumpung, prumpung, tatepal, tatupele ( Indonesia ), pit-pit ( New Guinea ), 卡开芦 ( China,  Taiwan ),  nal, nalkhagari, doka-ghas, kilak, potagala, chamana, perunanal, nalam, eela karra ( India ), kyu ( Cambodia ), say nui ( Vietnam )  etc
Synonyms : Arundo karka, A. roxburghii, Phragmites cinctus, P. roxburghii, Trichoon roxburghii.

This plant is a reliable indicator of freshwater.   In places, such as at the mouth of Laguas River, Guam, there is a sharp division between the reeds and the plants which grow in brackish water.

The root of common reed is regarded as cooling and diuretic by the Chinese.
It is also used for thatching and making mats, baskets, chairs, fences, fish traps etc.
The culms used for hookah pipes, flutes, and pens.
Panicles are used for brooms.
The flowering stalks yield a fiber suitable for cordage.
It is planted at wetlands, treatment plants etc to remove nutrients, organic matter, COD and other pollutants.

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