Phragmites karka 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Plantae Tracheophyta Liliopsida Poales Poaceae

Scientific Name: Phragmites karka (Retz.) Trin. ex Steud.
Taxonomic Notes:

This species can be regarded as the tropical counterpart of Phragmites australis; as noted by Cope (1982) (Cope, T.A. 1982 Flora of Pakistan No. 143. Poaceae. Jointly published by the Institute of Plant Conservation, University of Karachi and Missouri Botanical Press) "for most of their range these two species of Phragmites are allopatric. Phragmites australis is a temperate species while Phragmites karka is tropical". However, different approaches to recognition of taxa within the genus and uncertainty about taxonomy in some areas make it difficult to establish the precise distribution and status of this taxon.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2013
Date Assessed: 2012-05-14
Assessor(s): Lansdown, R.V.
Reviewer(s): Tognelli, M. & GarcĂ­a, N.
Contributor(s): Knees, S.G., Patzelt, A., Neale, S. & Williams, L.

This species is classed as Least Concern as it is widespread, able to exploit a range of anthropogenic habitats and does not face any major threats.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:

This species occurs throughout much of the Old World tropics, including central Africa from Senegal east to Ethiopia and south to Uganda. It is reported from Oman, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen (Cope 2007) and from Pakistan east to China and Japan, south through South-east Asia to northern Australia, as well as some Pacific Ocean island groups.

Countries occurrence:
Australia (Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia); Bangladesh; Benin; Bhutan; Brunei Darussalam; Cambodia; Cameroon; China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Sichuan, Yunnan); Eritrea; Ethiopia; Ghana; Guinea-Bissau; India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir, Karaikal, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal); Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Mali; Myanmar; Nepal; Niger; Nigeria; Oman; Pakistan; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Saudi Arabia; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Somalia; Sri Lanka; Sudan; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Uganda; United Arab Emirates; Viet Nam; Yemen (North Yemen)
Additional data:
Upper elevation limit (metres):1600
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]


There is no information available on population trends in this species.

Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:

This species grows in a range of habitats, from swamps to shallow water at the margins of lakes, ponds, in and along streams and ditches and in irrigation canals (Cook 1996).


Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade:

The young leaves are used as fodder, older culms are used for thatching, screens, baskets, paper and reeds for musical instruments (Cook 1996).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s):

There are no known significant past, ongoing or future threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions:

There are no conservation measures in place and none needed.

Citation: Lansdown, R.V. 2013. Phragmites karka. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2013: e.T168955A1256797. . Downloaded on 25 April 2018.
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