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Useful Tropical Plants

Bambusa heterostachya

(Munro) Holttum

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Bambusa diversistachya Munro

Bambusa latispiculata (Gamble) Holttum

Gigantochloa heterostachya Munro

Gigantochloa latispiculata Gamble

Common Name:

Bambusa heterostachya
Drawing of the leaves and flowering stem
Photograph by: Annals of the Royal Botanic Garden, Calcutta, vol. 7: t. 59 (1891)
Creative Commons License

General Information

Bambusa heterostachya is an evergreen bamboo growing 6 - 10 metres tall. It has short rhizomes that produce solitary, thin-walled culms 30 - 60mm in diameter.
The plant is harvested for local use as a source of materials. A small form has been planted as a roadside ornamental[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Although only known from Peninsular Malaysia, a region which has undergone rapid recent habitat conversion, its generalized ecology and proximity to villages, and the fact that it is commonly cultivated, mean that it is under no threat of extinction. The plant is classified as 'Least Concern' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Southeast Asia - probalby Malaysia, though it has not been found in a truly wild situation.

Habitat

Often planted around villages, it is not known in a wild habitat

Properties

Conservation StatusLeast Concern
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Bamboo
Height8.00 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental

Cultivation Details

The plant seems well adapted to a humid tropical lowland climate without a strict dry season[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

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[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
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.

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

Strips of the culm are used to make baskets and as tying material (e.g. to attach coconuts)[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The strong, straight, medium-sized culms are used as poles to harvest fruits and to pollinate flowers of oil palm[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].

Propagation

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[
220
Title
Bamboos of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Stapleton. C.
Publisher
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew
Year
1994
ISBN
0947643680
Description
An excelllent little booklet that looks in some detail at the native bamboos of Nepal, including looking at their uses.
]. 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[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Plants can be propagated vegetatively by rhizome, culm and branch cuttings. The propagules are raised in a nursery and after they have produced roots and developed rhizomes they are planted out in the field during the rainy season in pits filled with a mixture of compost and soil[
310
Title
Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://proseanet.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-04-18. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Bambusa+heterostachya>

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