Tall Reed
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Tall Reed
ative Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Tall Reed • Assamese: Nal, Nalkhagari • Bengali: Nal • Hindi: Narkul, नाल् Nal, Doka-ghas, Kilak • Kannada: Hulugila hullu • Malayalam: Nain-canna, Nadam • Manipuri: ꯇꯧ Tou • Marathi: नाल Nala • Nepali: नर्कट Narkat • Oriya: Potagala • Sanskrit: Dhamana, Nala • Tamil: Perunanal, நாலம் Nalam • Telugu: Eela karra, Nagasaramu-peepalu
Botanical name: Phragmites karka    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Arundo karka, Arundo roxburghii, Phragmites roxburghii

Tall Reed is a perennial reed, with creeping rhizomes. Stems are erect, up to 10 m tall. Leaf-blades are 30-80 cm long and 1.2-4 cm wide, hairless, rough to touch beneath, the tips flat and stiff (occasionally almost smooth or with thread-like tips). Flowers are borne in panicles 30-50 cm long, 10-20 cm wide, the lowest node often many-branched in a whorl, brownish purple. Rhachilla, long, silky hairy above the lowest lemma. The branches bare of spikelets for some distance from their base. Spikelets are 9-12 mm long, the rhachilla-hairs 4-7 mm long, rather sparse; lower glume just over half as long as the upper; upper glume narrowly elliptic to very narrowly elliptic, 4-6 mm long, acute to subacute; lowest lemma very narrowly elliptic, 7.5-12 mm long; fertile lemmas very narrowly lanceolate, 85-11 mm long. Flowering: April-November.

Identification credit: R. Vijayasankar, Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Delhi.

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