Herbs & Plants

Bambusa heterostachya

Botanical Name: Bambusa heterostachya
Family: Poaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Tribe: Bambuseae
Subtribe: Bambusinae
Genus: Bambusa

Synonyms: Bambusa diversistachya, Munro Bambusa latispiculata (Gamble) Holttum Gigantochloa heterostachya, Munro Gigantochloa latispiculata Gambl

Common Names: Malay Dwarf Green

Vernacular names:
Malaysia: buloh telang, Buloh galah, Buloh pengait.

Habitat: Bambusa heterostachya is native to Southeast Asia – probalby Malaysia, though it has not been found in a truly wild situation. It is often planted around villages, it is not known in a wild habita.

Bambusa heterostachya is an evergreen bamboo growing 6 – 10 metres tall.The flowers are pollinated by Wind. It has short rhizomes that produce solitary, thin-walled culms 30 – 60mm in diameter. The plant is harvested for local use as a source of materials. A small form has been planted as a roadside ornamental.

A loosely tufted, sympodial bamboo. Culm erect, 6-12(-16) m tall, 3-4(-6) cm in diameter, green, irregularly streaked with pale green or whitish-green; wall 8-10 mm thick; internodes 30-80 cm long, when young white powdery and dark hairy below the nodes, glabrous with age; nodes not swollen. Branches arising from the midculm upwards, many at each node with the primary branch dominant. Culm sheath about 18 cm × 12 cm, dark green, covered with black hairs outside; blade broadly triangular, 7 cm × 5 cm, erect; ligule 6 mm long, entire, bearing bristles 3 mm or more long; auricles large, 1 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, bearing up to 1.5 cm long curly bristles along the edge. Leaf blade 20-40 cm × 2-5 cm, glabrous; sheath usually glabrous, occasionally with scattered appressed black hairs; ligule 1-2 mm long, irregularly toothed and with short bristles; auricles absent or small and round. Inflorescence iterauctant, borne on short leafless or leafy branches; pseudospikelets in groups of 2-3 at each inflorescence node; spikelet laterally compressed or flattened, 3-4 cm long, comprising 2 glumes and up to 10 florets. Caryopsis obovoid-cylindrical, 5-6 mm long, thickened and hairy at apex.

B. heterostachya flowers regularly. The culm characteristics are as good as those of useful Gigantochloa species, the culms are straight and strong and can be split into strips for making baskets.

The culm sheaths resemble those of B. vulgaris Schrader ex Wendland but are smaller and the ligule is different.


The plant seems well adapted to a humid tropical lowland climate without a strict dry season.
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.

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. 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.
Plants can be propagated vegetatively by rhizome, culm and branch cuttings. The propagules are raised in a nursery and after they have produced roots and developed rhizomes they are planted out in the field during the rainy season in pits filled with a mixture of compost and so

Different Uses:An ornamental bamboo with a slightly weeping growth habit used as a living screen for privacy, as a windbreak and noise barrier. A great shade provider in an outdoor landscape.. Strips of the culm are used to make baskets and as tying material (e.g. to attach coconuts). The strong, straight, medium-sized culms are used as poles to harvest fruits and to pollinate flowers of oil palm.

Strips of the culm are used to make baskets and as tying material (e.g. to attach coconuts).
The strong, straight, medium-sized culms are used as poles to harvest fruits and to pollinate flowers of oil palm.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only.


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