Arundarbor aristata (Lodd. ex Lindl.) Kuntze
Arundinaria aristata Gamble
Arundinaria procera Wall. ex Munro
Arundinaria spathiflora Trin
Bambusa aristata Lodd. ex Lindl.
Bambusa macra Wall. ex Munro
Fargesia crassinoda T.P.Yi
Thamnocalamus aristatus (Gamble) E.G.Camus
Thamnocalamus crassinodus (T.P.Yi) Demoly
Thamnocalamus nepalensis (Stapleton) Stapleton
Thamnocalamus occidentalis (Stapleton) Stapleton
Thamnocalamus spathiflorus is a clump-forming, evergreen bamboo that can grow 3 - 4metres tall, occasionally to 5.5 metres; the erect, woody culms are 10 - 20mm in diameter with thin-walled internodes 15 - 18cm long[
]. The plant spreads slowly by means of short rhizomes, eventually forming quite a large, dense clump.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials. It is grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a hedge and screen.
E. Asia - Himalayan regions of India, Nepal and Tibet
Forming thickets in damp sites in cedar, oak and fir forests; at elevations up to 3,600 metres[
]. Prefers growing on steeply sloping sites[
]. Coniferous and mixed subalpine forests; at elevations from 2,500 - 2,900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Thamnocalamus spathiflorus is found at moderate to high elevations (up to 3,600 metres) in the Himalayas, where it experiences frost and snow. One report says that it is only hardy in the milder areas of the temperate zone[
], though another says that it can tolerate short-lived temperatures falling to around -20°c. It is unlikely to tolerate prolonged exposure to low temperatures[
Succeeds in most soils in sun or shade so long as the soil is moist[
]. Prefers a good loamy soil in a semi-shaded position[
], the leaves curling up when the plant grows in strong sunlight. Dislikes drought[
]. Requires a position sheltered from cold winds[
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
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. This pattern can vary - sometimes flowering is sporadic, with plants flowering annually and not dying; at other times it is gregarious with all the plants in a specific species coming into flower at the same time. In this species the flowering cycle is reported to be around 16 - 17 years[
Young shoots - cooked[
]. The new shoots are about 15mm in diameter[
Seed - cooked and used as a cereal[
]. The plants only flower and produce seed at intervals of several years.
A valuable plant for screen planting in wet areas[
A clump-forming species, it is a valuable understorey species in its native range, where it does not hinder the regeneration of tree growth and also provides food and shelter for wildlife[
The canes are strong and are used for making walking sticks, baskets and pipes[
]. They can also be used as plant supports[
]. The canes are quite brittle and so are not very useful for weaving, in their native range they are only used for this purpose when better species are not available[
Seed - surface sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 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. Grow on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Seed is rarely available.
Division in spring 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 a greenhouse 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[
Basal cane cuttings.