Bambusa monogynia Griff.
Dendrocalamus edulis Munro
Dendrocalamus maximus Kuntze
Sinocalamus hamiltonii (Nees & Arn. ex Munro) T.Q.Nguyen.
Common Name: Tama Bamboo
Photograph by: Dvellakat
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0
Tama bamboo is an evergreen, clump-forming bamboo with woody culms that are often very pendulous and can grow 12 - 25 metres tall. The culms are 9 - 20cm in diameter at the base, with internodes 30 - 50cm apart and walls 12 - 20mm thick[
The plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is cultivated for its edible shoots in India and China, whilst it is also grown as a windbreak in tea plantations and for the multipurpose culms[
]. Currently wild stands are endangered by over-exploitation for paper pulp[
E. Asia - southern China, Indian subcontinent, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
A plant of the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 20 - 29°c, but can tolerate 15 - 34°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,800 - 3,600mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,500mm[
Succeeds in full sun and in light shade[
]. Prefers a medium to heavy soil of at least moderate fertility[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 6.5[
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[
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. The flowering cycle for this species is said to be 30 - 40 years[
Young shoots are widely consumed as a vegetable[
]. A sour pickle, known as 'hiyup', is made from the shoots in India[
Grown as a windbreak in tea plantations[
The culms are used for temporary constructions (houses, bridges) and various household utensils such as water containers[
]. The culms are widely utilized for pulp to make paper[
Split culms are used for making baskets and mats[
Harvesting may start 3 - 4 years after a clump has begun to produce culms of maximum size. Only culms older than 3 years are harvestable and harvesting should never be done during the growing season. It is recommended to cut the culms lower than 30cm above the ground level, but not below the 2nd node. Debris and cut branches should always be removed completely[
The skin of the culms can be used for binding and caning of chairs[
Seed - many, if not all, members of this genus have a short viability and should be sown within 2 - 3 months of harvest. Sow in containers in a lightly shaded position and only just cover. Germination usually takes place readily. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Plant out into permanent positions when 20cm tall. Plants may remain in their low-growing juvenile state for several years - cutting the culms to the ground level can stimulate taller adult growth[
Rhizome, culm and branch cuttings[
]. The propagules are raised in the nursery and after they have produced roots they are planted out in the field before or during the first half of the rainy season[
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