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Useful Tropical Plants

Gigantochloa robusta

Kurz

Poaceae


This species was formerly part of one complex species, Gigantochloa verticillata[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Modern treatments generally accept that it is sufficiently different to merit recognition as a distinct species[
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+ Synonyms

Common Name:

No Image.

General Information

Gigantochloa robusta is a densely tufted, sympodial bamboo[
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]. The culm is up to 20 metres tall, 7 - 9 cm in diameter, with a wall up to 18 mm thick and internodes up to 40 cm long[
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].
Although there is no large-scale cultivation, this species is locally important (especially in Sumatra), as a garden crop, though no statistics on production or trade are available[
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]. The young shoots are sometimes sold in local vegetable markets, though it is possible that the customers are deceived because the young shoots look rather similar to those of Dendrocalamus asper, which are considered superior for culinary use[
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].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

The origin of this species is unknown, it is only found in cultivation.

Habitat

Not known in a truly wild situation

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Bamboo
Height15.00 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated

Cultivation Details

This species grows in the perhumid tropics, where it is found at elevations from sea-level up to 1,500 metres[
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]. It is found in areas with an average annual rainfall of around 2,350 - 4,200 mm, temperatures of 20 - 32°c, and a relative humidity of over 70%[
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The plant normally grows on latosols (soils rich in iron and aluminium)[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
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After planting of a cutting, 1 - 5 culms develop in the first year, gradually increasing up to 11 culms in the next years[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. One year after planting, culm height averages 4.7 metres and diameter 3.9 cm; these figures increase to 6.7 metres and 5.4 cm in the 2nd year and to 12.3 metres and 8.3 cm in the 3rd year, respectively[
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Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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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.
].
Young shoots grow rapidly at first and culms attain their maximum height in 2 - 4 months[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
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Branching begins when the lengthening phase of the culm is over, usually at 8 - 11 nodes from the top, followed by growth from the next two nodes down, and then development continues both up and down the culm from this area until branches have been produced from all nodes from 2 - 3 metres upwards[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
First harvesting may start 4 - 5 years after planting. It is recommended to harvest in the dry season by cutting mature culms just above the ground[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. A selective felling system in a 3-year cycle is recommended in Indonesia[
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Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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http://proseanet.org/
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
It is estimated that a mature clump produces yearly an average of 6 mature culms (about 900 culms per ha at planting distance of 8 metres x 8 metres)[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
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Traditionally, the culms are soaked in mud or running water for a few weeks and then air dried[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. The culms suffer heavily from borer attack; therefore, for large-scale production, chemical preservation treatment is necessary[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. Promising experimental results were obtained by soaking culms for 3 - 7 days in a solution of boron or wolmanit[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
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It is said that the clumps of this species flower gregariously more than 50 years after planting. Flowers attract honey bees and other insects, but seed has never been observed[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
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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

Young shoots are eaten as a vegetable[
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
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Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

The culms are widely used for water pipes, floors and walls for houses, to make handicrafts and bamboo musical instruments[
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Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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http://proseanet.org/
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. In West Java, a typical water carrying vessel ('kele'') is made from the culm by the Baduy[
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Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
The canes are up to 20 metres long, 7 - 9 cm in diameter, with a wall up to 18 mm thick and internodes up to 40 cm long[
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http://proseanet.org/
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Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
]. They are a dirty yellow to light green colour with yellow stripes in the lower 2 metres, non-waxy, with scattered brownish hairs on upper parts; lowest nodes with aerial roots[
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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

Gigantochloa robusta is only propagated vegetatively[
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Plant Resources of Southeast Asia
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http://proseanet.org/
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Year
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Description
Lots of information on the uses of the plants of SE Asia.
].
Rhizome or culm cuttings. Culm cuttings have a survival rate of nearly 100%. For large-scale planting, cuttings are raised in a nursery and transplanted to the field when the plants are about one year old. It is recommended to plant in holes of about 1 m x 1 m x 1 m to which compost or other organic fertilizer has been applied[
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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. 2020-08-14. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Gigantochloa%20robusta>

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