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Useful Tropical Plants

Bambusa multiplex

(Lour.) Raeusch. ex Schult. & Schult.f.

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Arundarbor multiplex (Lour.) Kuntze

Arundarbor nana (Roxb.) Kuntze

Arundinaria glaucescens (Willd.) P.Beauv.

Arundo multiplex Lour.

Bambusa albifolia T.H.Wen & J.J.Hua

Bambusa alphonse-karrii Mitford ex Satow

Bambusa argentea hort

Bambusa argentea vittata Beadle

Bambusa caesia Siebold & Zucc. ex Munro

Bambusa dolichomerithalla Hayata

Bambusa floribunda (Büse) Zoll. & Mor. ex Steud.

Bambusa glauca Lodd. ex Lindl.

Bambusa glaucescens (Willd.) Merr.

Bambusa liukiuensis Hayata

Bambusa nana Roxb.

Bambusa pubivaginata W.T.Lin & Z.M.Wu

Bambusa shimadae Hayata

Bambusa sterilis Kurz ex Miq.

Bambusa strigosa T.H.Wen

Bambusa textilis persistens B.M.Yang

Ischurochloa floribunda Büse

Leleba amakusensis Nakai

Leleba dolichomerithalla (Hayata) Nakai

Leleba elegans Koidz.

Leleba floribunda (Büse) Nakai

Leleba liukiuensis (Hayata) Nakai

Leleba multiplex (Lour.) Nakai

Leleba shimadae (Hayata) Nakai

Ludolfia glaucescens Willd.

Triglossum arundinaceum Gamble

Common Name: Hedge Bamboo

Bambusa multiplex
The cultivar 'Alphonse Karr, growing in the McConnell Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, Turtle Bay Exploration Park, Redding, California, USA.
Photograph by: Daderot
Creative Commons Zero, Public Domain Dedication
Bambusa multiplex Bambusa multiplex Bambusa multiplex

General Information

Bambusa multiplex is an evergreen, clumping bamboo producing erect canes from 2 - 7 metres tall. The thin-walled canes are 10 - 30mm in diameter with internodes 20 - 40cm long[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
,
361
Title
Bamboos of India: A Compendium
Publication
 
Author
Seethalakshmi K.K., Muktesh Kumar M.S.
Website
http://www.inbar.int/publication/txt/tr17/default.htm
Publisher
Brill.
Year
2002
ISBN
8186247254
Description
A very good book giving botanical descriptions of the plants with brief notes on subjects such as uses, habitat and range. It is also available to view on the Internet.
].
The plant is sometimes harvested for its edible young shoots and culms that are used for weaving, paper making etc. Plants are widely cultivated in the tropics as ornamentals and in hedges.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
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.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - Eastern Himalayas to southern China.

Habitat

Open places; at elevations from 200 - 1,500 metres in Nepal[
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
]. Wild and cultivated, fields, mountains, low hills, riversides[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Bamboo
Height4.50 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A fairly hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -8°c[
25
Title
Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Lawson.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
Fairly comprehensive, it was once the standard work but is now rather dated. Deals with species hardy in Britain, giving cultivation details and some uses.
,
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
], but it does not like periods of prolonged cold.
Prefers an open loam of fair quality, succeeding on peaty soils and in full sun or dappled shade[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
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.
]. Requires a position sheltered from cold drying winds[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Requires abundant moisture in the growing season and plenty of organic matter in the soil[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
].
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.
].
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
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.
].
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.
New shoots appear in late spring, the rootstock is caespitose[
25
Title
Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Lawson.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
Fairly comprehensive, it was once the standard work but is now rather dated. Deals with species hardy in Britain, giving cultivation details and some uses.
].
A polymorphic species, there are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value[
25
Title
Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Lawson.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
Fairly comprehensive, it was once the standard work but is now rather dated. Deals with species hardy in Britain, giving cultivation details and some uses.
,
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
].

Edible Uses

Young shoots - cooked[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
]. Bitter tasting, they are rarely eaten[
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
]. They are less bitter if harvested before they emerge from the soil and then parboiled in water[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The stems are 15 - 25mm in diameter[
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].

Medicinal

None known

Agroforestry Uses:

The plant makes a good screen or hedge and windbreak[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
,
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.
,
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.
].

Other Uses

Paper is made from the culms[
46
Title
Dictionary of Economic Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Uphof. J. C. Th.
Publisher
Weinheim
Year
1959
ISBN
-
Description
An excellent and very comprehensive guide but it only gives very short descriptions of the uses without any details of how to utilize the plants. Not for the casual reader.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
].
The canes are too arched for good poles and there is too small a volume for significant pulp production, in spite of good fibre dimensions[
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
]. The culms are up to 4cm in diameter[
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.
].
The canes split easily and are fairly flexible - they are used as a source of weaving material for mats, baskets and other household goods[
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.
,
272
Title
Plants and People of Nepal
Publication
 
Author
Manandhar. N. P.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
2002
ISBN
0-88192-527-6
Description
Excellent book, covering over 1,500 species of useful plants from Nepal together with information on the geography and peoples of Nepal. Good descriptions of the plants with terse notes on their uses.
].
The culms are often used as umbrella handles and for fishing poles[
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.
]. In Indonesia and Thailand they are also used to make handicrafts such as bookcases[
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.
].
Branches often develop into rhizomatous offsets with long roots. These can be removed and potted up in late spring[
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.
].

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