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Phragmites karka

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Common perennial reeds that are usually found in tropical and temperate regions have an elongated rhizome with a large plume-like panicle and slender spikelets.


Phragmites karka leaves range at about 15cm-30cm long and 10cm-20cm wide with a leafy top of the panicle. It has silky beards at the bases of the lowest panicle branch that able to grow in clay soils with a pH ranging from strongly acidic pH 4.5 to pH 7.5 which is slightly alkaline that can withstand flooding due to high tolerance in water.

Phragmites karka roots are used as medicine for cooling and diuretic as well as in making mats, basket and chairs. The culms of the plants also used for flutes, pens and pipes wherein the panicle fabricated for brooms and the flowering stalks manufacture for fiber that are suitable for cordage.

Phragmites karka is a plant used in constructed wetland for wastewater treatment since its root zone has the ability to assimilate nutrient that is beneficial for treating ravage water.

Common Name:

  • bayongbong ( Indonesia)
  • pit-pit (New Guinea)
  • kilak, perunanal (India)
  • Kyu ( Cambodia)
  • say nui (Vietnam)
  • tabon-ak ( Philippines)

Synonyms :

  • Arundo karka
  • Arundo roxburghii
  • Phragmites cinctus
  • Phragmites roxburghii
  • Trichoon roxburghii

Scientific Classification:

 Kingdom: Plantae
 Phylum: Tracheophyta
 Class: Liliopsida
 Order: Cyperales
 Family: Gramineae
 Genus: Phragmites
 Species: Phragmites karka