Arundo donax L., Sp. Pl. 81 1753. (Syn: Aira bengalensis (Retz.) J.F.Gmel.; Amphidonax bengalensis (Retz.) Steud.; Amphidonax bengalensis Roxb. ex Nees; Amphidonax bifaria (Retz.) Steud. [Invalid]; Arundo aegyptia Delile [Invalid]; Arundo aegyptiaca E.Vilm. [Invalid]; Arundo bambusifolia Hook.f.; Arundo bengalensis Retz.; Arundo bifaria Retz.; Arundo coleotricha (Hack.) Honda ..; Arundo donax var. angustifolia Döll ……………….; Arundo glauca Bubani [Illegitimate]; Arundo hellenica Danin, Raus & H.Scholz; Arundo latifolia Salisb. [Illegitimate]; Arundo longifolia Salisb. ex Hook.f. [Invalid]; Arundo sativa Lam.; Arundo scriptoria L. [Invalid]; Arundo triflora Roxb.; Arundo versicolor Mill.; Cynodon donax (L.) Raspail; Donax arundinaceus P.Beauv.; Donax bengalensis (Retz.) P.Beauv.; Donax bifarius (Retz.) Spreng.; Donax donax (L.) Asch. & Graebn. [Invalid]; Donax sativa (Lam.) J. Presl; Donax sativus C.Presl; Donax versicolor (Mill.) P.Beauv.; Scolochloa arundinacea (P.Beauv.) Mert. & W.D.J.Koch [Illegitimate]; Scolochloa donax (L.) Gaudin);
W. & Central Asia to Temp. E. Asia: Afghanistan, Assam, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China South-Central, China Southeast, Cyprus, East Himalaya, Gulf States, Hainan, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nepal, Ogasawara-shoto, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Sinai, Tadzhikistan, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, West Himalaya, Yemen; Introduced into: Alabama, Albania, Aldabra, Algeria, Andaman Is., Angola, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Arizona, Arkansas, Austria, Azores, Bahamas, Baleares, Bermuda, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil South, Brazil Southeast, Brazil West-Central, Bulgaria, California, Canary Is., Cape Provinces, Cape Verde, Caroline Is., Cayman Is., Chile Central, Chile North, Christmas I., Colombia, Cook Is., Corse, Costa Rica, Cuba, Delaware, Desventurados Is., Dominican Republic, East Aegean Is., Easter Is., Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Florida, France, Free State, French Guiana, Georgia, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hawaii, Illinois, Italy, Jamaica, Jawa, Kansas, Kentucky, Korea, Kriti, KwaZulu-Natal, Leeward Is., Libya, Louisiana, Madagascar, Madeira, Malaya, Maluku, Marianas, Marquesas, Marshall Is., Maryland, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Mississippi, Missouri, Morocco, Namibia, Nauru, Nevada, New Caledonia, New Guinea, New Mexico, New South Wales, New Zealand North, New Zealand South, Nicaragua, Niue, Norfolk Is., North Carolina, Northern Provinces, Northern Territory, Oklahoma, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Queensland, Samoa, Sardegna, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sicilia, Society Is., Somalia, South Australia, South Carolina, Spain, Sri Lanka, St.Helena, Sumatera, Suriname, Tennessee, Texas, Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey-in-Europe, Utah, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Venezuelan Antilles, Virginia, Wallis-Futuna Is., West Virginia, Western Australia, Western Sahara, Windward Is., Yugoslavia as per POWO;
Common name: Giant Reed, Spanish cane, Colorado river reed, wild cane • Hindi: Baranal, baru, Doka, Nal, naldura • Kannada: baalada kaddi, bilee laalada kaddi, hulagilu hullu • Malayalam: Oodappullu • Manipuri: ꯌꯦꯡꯗꯧ Yengdou • Marathi: Nal • Nepali: थुलो नरकट Thulo narkat • Sanskrit: dhamana, nala, potagala • Tamil: caravanam, koraikkuccu, korukachi • Telugu: adavikikasa-gaddi, adavikikkasagadi, kaki veduru • Mizo: Pum-phir


Arundo donax L. (?) from Hooghly:

A Bengali book on some selected grasses informs two similar looking grasses in West Bengal are Arundo donax L. and Phragmites karka (Retz,) Steud., the leaves of the later measure 15-30 cm x 2.5 cm ( or 80 x 2-3 cm ( or 30-80 cm long and 12-40 nun (???) (
I think my species is Arundo donax L.
Species : Arundo donax L. ?
Habit & Habitat : tall grass, avg. 5 feet tall, leaves 40 cm x 3.8 cm approx.; a few at far end are more than 8 feet and with broader leaves; beside railway track
Date : 28/7/12, 9.10 A.M.
Place : Balarambati (Hooghly)

A portion of description from is repeated (copy-pasted along with spelling error!) in http://www.iiim.herbarium/phragmites_karka.htm
Please read “12-40 nun” as “12-40 mm”.
Yes, your plant does look like Arundo donax, but a picture of inflorescence would help to confirm the id. The inflorescence is cone-like and more compact in the former species, but it is effuse and lax in Phragmites karka. Leaves of both the species are more or less comparable.

The grasses there had no inflorescence at that time (yesterday), wish to keep it on my watch list..

This is Arundo donax. The most distinguishing vegetative character is the amplexicaul leaves (the leaf base circling the stem). This feature is not found in Phragmites.

I have read the “amplexicaul” feature of the Arundo donax leaves, though in Bengali, not the term itself, but the leaf base circling the entire internode area. But didn’t know that Phragmites lacks this feature.

I have recorded “amplexicaul” feature of the Arundo donax leaves. I learn, from a Bengali booklet on grasses, the hollow stems of this grass are used to make flutes of snake-charmers and for children. I recorded these pictures in yesterday evening.

Attaching inflorescence of the same grass, same community, recorded yesterday.
I forgot my mission and meanwhile either the place was cleared by the Railway or the grasses were collected, leaving a few individuals only. 3 or 4 of those individuals are more than 10 feet high.



grass Arundo again? from Hooghly 15/11/12 sk2:
Found this grass beside a BALI-KHAD (don’t know the English term, it is a medium to large water body created by evacuation of sands, long long ago). But BALI-KHAD is secondary, though it has a story, long long ago it belonged to my grandfather (maternal) whom, unfortunately, i never met.

The primary concern is the grass, Though it looked like images available of Phragmites karka in the net, yet i think it has amplexicaul leaves. The last three pics of inflorescence (with purplish spikelets) is from another individual, half km away from the first one.
Species : CONFUSED
H & H : about 10 feet high, stem hollow, leaves avg. 60 cm x 5 cm, both sides glabrous
Date : 14/11/12, 12.01 p.m.
Place : Hooghly

Yes, it is Arundo donax.


id confirmtion is it Sachharum spontaneum???? 2 : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (1)
Habit- large grass with thick clumps

Habitat- reserve forest
location- Chandigarh
March. 2016

m_DSCN0008 seems to be Arundo donax

Grass id
Pl. ID the  tall grass at Khanderi island, Alibag:
# (18.12.10, 4 pictures, 4 messages); 


Mahabaleshwar, MH :: Bamboo for ID :: ARK2020-067 : 8 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5)
Seen this bamboo at many species in Mahabaleshwar, MH in March 2020.
Not sure whether it is wild or cultivated.
Requested to please ID.

Check with Phragmites karka …

Phragmites karka ??

Not a bamboo. It is Arundo donax– the amplexicaul leaf base is the identifying feature


Variegated Bamboo For ID : Lalbagh,Bangalore : 07DEC14 : AK-24 : 5 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (4).
Small, ornamental bamboo seen on 15/11/14.
These are the only pictures I have.

The plant uploaded seems to be Pleioblastus simonii variegatus
commonly known as variegated bamboo

Thanks for the suggested id.

Thanks … Your observation looks more closer. There are lots of variants of variegated bamboos commonly called variegated bamboos.

Isn’t it Arundo donax var. versicolor,

There are several species of variegated leaf grasses including bamboos. But the amplexicaul leaf base clearly indicates that it is Arundo donax as suggested by ….


Hooghly 14Feb2023 surajit : Phragmites karka (Retz.) Trin. ex Steud.?: 6 high res. images.
I share images of a grass I came across today (14.2.23), at a place near Dankuni, Hooghly.
It is around 10 ft., taller than Arundo donax, that I recorded quite a few years ago, and the leaves and culms are narrower in this species.
Please, identify the species.

I guess ID is correct !

Amplexicaul leaf base is a character of Arundo donax and not in Phragmites.
Another way to differentiate is to check whether the hairs are on the lemmas (Arundo) or whether the hairs are on the rachis (Phragmites)

Thank you … for explaining the differences between the two species. Hope, someday I will find Phragmites karka!