Bambusa atrovirens T.H.Wen.
Dendrocalamopsis atrovirens (T.H.Wen.) P.C.Keng.
Dendrocalamopsis oldhamii (Munro.) P.C.Keng.
Sinocalamus oldhamii (Munro.) McClure.
Common Name: Ryoku-Chiku
Bambusa oldhamii is an evergreen, clump-forming bamboo producing canes 6 - 16 metres tall. The thin-walled stems are 30 - 90mm in diameter, with internodes 17 - 35cm long[
This species is commonly cultivated in Taiwan for its very high-quality shoots[
]. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
E. Asia - southern China, Taiwan.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Bambusa oldhamii is found in lowland areas in the tropical to warm temperate regions of southern China and is able to tolerate short-lived, light frosts.
Requires a humus rich soil in full sun or dappled shade in warm humid conditions[
Bamboos have an interesting method of growth. Each plant produces a number of new stems annually - these stems grow to their maximum height in their first year of growth, subsequent growth in the stem being limited to the production of new side branches and leaves. In the case of some mature tropical species the new stem could be as much as 30 metres tall, with daily increases in height of 30cm or more during their peak growth time. This makes them some of the fastest-growing species in the world[
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
Bamboos in general are usually monocarpic, living for many years before flowering, then flowering and seeding profusely for a period of 1 - 3 years before usually dying. When they do come into flower most of the plants energies are directed into producing seed and consequently the plant is severely weakened. They sometimes die after flowering, but if left alone they will usually recover though they will look very poorly for a few years. If fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time the plants are more likely to die[
Young shoots - cooked[
]. Of excellent quality[
]. The young shoots are harvested as they emerge from the soil.
The cane walls are thick but rather soft. The canes are used as a source of pulp[
Seed - surface sow in containers as soon as it is ripe, preferably at a temperature around 20°c. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination usually takes place fairly quickly so long as the seed is of good quality, though it can take 3 - 6 months. Prick out the seedlings into containers when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a lightly shaded place until large enough to plant out. Plants only flower at intervals of many years and so seed is rarely available.
Division as new growth commences[
]. Take divisions with at least three canes in the clump, trying to cause as little root disturbance to the main plant as possible. Grow them on in light shade in pots of a high fertility sandy medium. Mist the foliage regularly until plants are established. Plant them out into their permanent positions when a good root system has developed, which can take a year or more[
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