Herbs & Plants

Bambusa multiplex

Botanical Name: Bambusa multiplex
Family: Poaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Poales
Genus: Bambusa
Species: B. multiplex

*Arundo multiplex Lour.
*Arundarbor multiplex (Lour.) Kuntze
*Bambusa multiplex var. normalis Sasaki
*Leleba multiplex (Lour.) Nakai
*Ludolfia glaucescens Willd.
*Arundinaria glaucescens (Willd.)

Common Names: Hedge Bamboo, Chinese Goddess Bamboo, Chinese Dwarf Bamboo, Clumping BambooHedge Bamboo, Oriental Hedge

International Common Names: English: Chinese bamboo

Local Common Names:
*Indonesia: Bambu cina; bhulu pagar
*Malaysia: Bambu cina; bhulu pagar
*Myanmar: Pa-lau-pinan-wa
*Philippines: Kawayan sa sonsong; kawayan tsina
*Thailand: Phai-liang
*Vietnam: Cay hop

Habitat: Bambusa multiplex is native to E. Asia – Eastern Himalayas to southern China. It grows on open places at elevations of 200 – 1500 metres in Nepal.

Bambusa multiplex is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 4.5 m (14ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate. It is densely tufted, sympodial bamboo. Culm slender, erect with arching tips, 2.5-7 m tall, 1-2.5 cm in diameter, hollow but with relatively thick walls; internodes 30-50 cm long, glabrous, smooth, white waxy when young; nodes not swollen.


A fairly hardy plant, tolerating temperatures down to about -8°c but it does not like periods of prolonged cold.
Prefers an open loam of fair quality, succeeding on peaty soils and in full sun or dappled shade Requires a position sheltered from cold drying winds. Requires abundant moisture in the growing season and plenty of organic matter in the soil.
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.
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus.
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. New shoots appear in late spring, the rootstock is caespitose. A polymorphic species, there are many named varieties selected for their ornamental value.

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. Branches often develop into rhizomatous offsets with long roots. These can be removed and potted up in late spring.

Edible Uses:
Young shoots – cooked. Bitter tasting, they are rarely eaten. They are less bitter if harvested before they emerge from the soil and then parboiled in water. The stems are 15 – 25mm in diameter.

Other different Uses:
Agroforestry Uses: The plant makes a good screen or hedge and windbreak.

Paper is made from the culms
The canes are too arched for good poles and there is too small a volume for significant pulp production, in spite of good fibre dimensions. The culms are up to 4cm in diameter. The canes split easily and are fairly flexible – they are used as a source of weaving material for mats, baskets and other household goods. The culms are often used as umbrella handles and for fishing poles. In Indonesia and Thailand they are also used to make handicrafts such as bookcases.

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


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