There is no clear agreement over the correct name for this taxon. In some treatments it is seen as two distinct but closely related species (Gigantochloa pseudoarundinacea (Steud.) Widjaja, and Gigantochloa verticillata (Willd.) Munro)[
]. Others, such as the GRIN database, treat it as Gigantochloa pseudoarundinacea. The Flora of China[
], and the Kew 'World Checklist of Selected Plant Families' both treat it as Gigantochloa verticillata (the treatment we are following here[
Arundo maxima Oken
Bambos verticillata Poir.
Bambusa excelsa (Roep. ex Trin.) Miq.
Bambusa pseudoarundinacea Steud.
Bambusa verticillata Willd.
Gigantochloa pseudoarundinacea (Steud.) Widjaja
Melocanna excelsa Roep. ex Trin.
Nastus verticillatus (Willd.) Sm.
Gigantochloa verticillata is an evergreen, perennial, densely clump-forming, bamboo that can grow 7 - 30 metres tall. The centre of the clump is irregularly raised above the ground. The thin-walled, erect, woody culms can be 5 - 13 cm in diameter at the base, with internodes 40 - 60cm long[
The plant is widely cultivated in Indonesia (Java, Bali, Sumatra, Mentawai Islands) both for food and as a source of materials. It has been introduced to Peninsular Malaysia and India[
]. In Indonesia, this species is the second in importance after Gigantochloa apus and plays a prominent role in the rural economy. Local production and trade of culms and derived products are considerable, but no statistics are available[
]. The plant is also often grown as an ornamental[
Unknown - the plant is only known in cultivation and its origins are obscure.
Not known in a truly wild location.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental
A plant of the perhumid tropics growing at elevations from sea-level up to about 1,200 metres[
]. It is found in areas with an annual rainfall in the range of 2,350 - 4,200 mm, an average temperature of 20 - 32°c and average relative humidity of over 70%[
]. In Indonesia (West Java), the culms grown on hill slopes ( at elevations of 500 metres with an annual rainfall of around 4,200 mm) are stronger (higher specific gravity, bending and tensile strength) than culms grown in valleys[
Grows best on sandy loams and alluvial soils[
One year after planting of a cutting, 7 - 10 culms have emerged[
]. Per year, about 8 - 9 culms per clump reach full size[
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[
A young culm grows fast, attaining full height in 3 - 4 months with an average growing rate of 3.4 cm per day[
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. Flowering occurs when the clump is 50 - 60 years old; it flowers gregariously, after which the clump dies[
First harvesting may start 3 years after planting, preferably in the dry season[
]. It is recommended to harvest only 3-year-old culms and to cut just above the ground[
]. To promote regeneration, it is recommended to earth up and to mulch the base of the harvested culms[
The annual yield of mature culms from a plantation with 275 clumps per ha (6 m x 6 m) is estimated at 1,650 per ha or about 6 culms per clump[310. If converted to charcoal, about 18% good charcoal and 4% brand and broken charcoal are produced310].
Traditionally, the culms are left leaning upright against a tree for some days before being used. Sometimes culms are first soaked in running water or mud for some time[
]. Experiments with preservation by soaking in a chemical solution of e.g. Caustic soda or boric acid show promising results[
The young shoots are eaten as a vegetable, especially those of less robust forms[
The canes are used for building material, water pipes, furniture, household utensils, chopsticks and toothpicks. They are also used to make basketry (although Gigantochloa apus is preferred), and musical instruments (although Gigantochloa atroviolacea is preferred)[
The culm can range in length from 7 - 30 metres, they are 5 - 13 cm in diameter at the base, with internodes 40 - 60cm long and a thick wall up to 2 cm wide[
]. The canes are green to yellow-green, yellow striped, initially with scattered appressed brown hairs on the upper parts, glabrous and smooth when older[
The culms might be used to make charcoal[
]. The energy value for charcoal made from the culms is about 30 000 kJ/kg[
Gigantochloa pseudoarundinacea is only propagated vegetatively by rhizome, culm or branch cuttings. Cuttings from flowering clumps should be avoided because they will start flowering soon after planting. Culm cuttings have shown a survival rate of nearly 100%. In Indonesia, the best time for planting is in the rainy season from December to March. Recommended spacing is 8 m x 8 m, and high rainfall areas are preferred[