Melocanna zollingeri (Steud.) Kurz ex Munro
Schizostachyum zollingeri is an evergreen bamboo forming a dense clump of culms 10 - 19 metres tall from short, woody rhizomes. The thin-walled, woody culms are erect, with the tip drooping; they can be 2 - 10cm in diameter with internodes 20 - 40cm long[
The plant is commonly harvested from the wild as a source of materials. The production, consumption and local trade of this bamboo are probably considerable, especially in rural areas, but no statistics are available. The only cultivation is small-scale, whilst the plant is also sometimes planted for ornamental purposes[
Southeast Asia - Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Dense primary forest in northern Peninsular Malaysia, but more often in disturbed areas such as forest edges and forest clearings; normally at elevations from 50 - 200 metres, occasionally to 400 metres[
|Other Uses Rating
|Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Succeeds in any type of well-drained soil, preferring sandy loams or clay loams. Once established, the plant is resistant to long droughts[
The rhizome of young seedlings is gradually built up by the successive emergence of new culms from the bases of preceding ones. Each culm that emerges becomes progressively larger until culms of full size are produced in mature clumps - a phase that is reached after some years[
Culm cuttings take about 1 year to establish, and produce full size culms after 3 years[
Shoots of natural stands emerge above the ground during the onset of the rainy season and develop to their full height in 5 - 6 months. The lateral branches develop subsequently. A culm becomes mature and suitable for harvest in 3 or more years. A healthy mature clump has 50 - 70 culms[
Culms are usually harvested all year round but mostly in the dry season. Culms should be 3 years old or older. Harvested culms are air-seasoned[
A well-managed, mature clump can produce 5 - 8 culms per year, or, with 400 clumps, 2,000 - 3,200 culms per hectare, weighing around 17 - 27 tonnes[
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.
Schizostachyum zollingeri flowers sporadically every year in practically all the areas in which it grows. Annual gregarious flowering during the dry season and over a 2 - 3 month period is reported from the northernmost part of Peninsular Malaysia. Fruit formation is rare when a plant flowers sporadically, but after gregarious flowering, fruits are formed abundantly. After flowering and fruiting a culm dies but the rhizome remains alive and regenerates new culms[
Young shoots are edible but not commonly eaten[
The culms are commonly split and woven into screens which serve as walls, floors, roofs, mats and for handicrafts. The bamboo screens are strong, flexible and versatile, they are very popular in housing and constructional work for parts that are not meant to carry weight[
The culms are also used for weaving baskets and fishing screens and to make rafts, small implements and containers to prepare the traditional rice food ('lemang') in Malaysia[
The culms are reported as promising as a raw material for paper and pulp[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe, although a short period of storage is possible, storing the seed at 12 - 14°c, with a moisture content about 15%. Sow the seed in containers, only just covering it, and place in partial shade. A germination rate of more than 80% after 1 month is common[
]. The young plant can be 10cm tall after 6 weeks[
Culm cuttings taken from the top and middle portions are commonly used and show nearly 100% survival. The propagules are raised in the nursery for about 5 months and transplanted in the field in the rainy season[
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