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Bambusa blumeana - Schult. & Schult.f.

Common Name Spiny Bamboo. Spiny bamboo, Thorny bamboo
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Often found on heavy soils and on marginal land at elevations up to 300 metres, it grows well along river banks, hill slopes and freshwater creeks and tolerates flooding[310 ].
Range Exact origin uncertain, but believed to be native in Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands and Borneo.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Bambusa blumeana Spiny Bamboo. Spiny bamboo, Thorny bamboo


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Bambusa blumeana Spiny Bamboo. Spiny bamboo, Thorny bamboo
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Summary

A Tropical/Subtropical densely clumping bamboo. Leaves are lance-shaped and on average 10-20 cm long and 12-25 mm wide. Shoots are edible and consumed as a vegetable.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Bambusa blumeana is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 20 m (65ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

Synonyms

Bambusa pungens Blanco Bambusa spinosa Blume ex Nees

Habitats

Edible Uses

Young shoots are eaten as a vegetable, usually boiled and shredded[46 , 310 ]. The young shoots are harvested as they emerge from the soil.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Agroforestry Uses: It is often planted along water courses to prevent soil erosion[310. Planted around farmhouses as wind-breaks, in fields as living fences or to mark boundaries[310 ]. Other Uses The culms walls are up to 3 cm thick; the internodes are usually hollow, 25 - 60cm long[418 ]. They are used as scaffolding in construction, for basketry (baskets are very popular), furniture, parquets, concrete reinforcements, kitchen utensils, chopsticks, hats and toys[266 , 310 ]. They are suitable for making paper[310 ]. They are also used as firewood if wood is scarce[310 ]. The natural durability of untreated culms is poor: 1 - 3 years outdoors, 2 - 5 years indoors, 6 months or less in seawater[310 ].

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass;  Management: Managed Multistem;  Minor Global Crop;  Other Systems: Multistrata;  Other Systems: Strip intercrop.

A plant of the lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 32c, but can tolerate 8 - 37°c[418 ]. It can be killed by temperatures of -1c or lower[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 4,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 5,000mm[418 ]. Plants grow best on heavier, fertile soils[310 ]. Intolerant of saline soils[310 ]. Tolerant of occasional inundation of the soil[418 ].Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7[418 ]. Planted culm cuttings at first send up thin shoots and culms are produced only after about 3 years. The number and size of the culms produced increases yearly until the clump reaches maturity. A planted cutting develops into a harvestable clump in 6 - 8 years. A mature clump (containing 10 - 40 culms) may develop about 30 shoots per year of which only about one-third to one-fourth reaches maturity because of diseases and pests, wind damage, and shortage of water and nutrients[310 ]. New shoots emerge during the rainy season and can be harvested for food after 7 - 15 days[310 ]. 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[K ]. Culms reach about full height in approximately 5 months, which means for the larger culms (growing to 25 metres or more) there is a daily height increase of about 17 cm. The most rapid growth usually occurs near the end of the growth period in the latter part of the rainy season. In that period, daily height increase may reach 45 cm on average[310 ]. The harvesting of culms depends on the intended end use but should preferably be effected in the dry season. For handicraft purposes, 1-year-old culms can be taken. For construction purposes, 3-year-old culms are suitable. Culms are cut 2 - 3 metres above the ground, just above the dense growth of spiny branches. The remaining basal portion should be cut back close to the ground within 6 months of the harvest. In order to ensure sustained yield, the number of culms that can be cut annually should not exceed 60% of the standing mature culms in the clump[310 ]. About 6 - 7 edible shoots can be harvested per clump per year[310 ]. Managed (cleaned) clumps produce an average of 8 mature culms per year (800 - 1200/ha), whilst unmanaged (uncleaned) clumps only 5 (500 - 750/ha)[310 ]. Removal of the basal spiny thickets and basal parts of harvested culms makes access easier, promotes the development of healthy shoots and reduces the number of deformed culms[310 ]. 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. Spiny bamboo flowers very rarely, perhaps once in 20 - 30 years[310 ].

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Propagation

Seed - surface sow in containers as soon as it is ripe, preferably at a temperature around 20c. 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[220 ]. 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[200 ]. Propagation by culm cuttings is most common. Culm cuttings about 50 cm long (with 2 - 3 nodes) are taken from the middle portion of 1 - 2-year-old culms with a relatively large diameter. They are planted horizontally at 10 cm depth. They should be planted immediately in a nursery or directly into the field in direct sunlight. Planting is preferably done at the beginning of the rainy season. After planting, mulch is distributed around the plant[310 ]. Good results have also been obtained with 3-noded-cuttings from branches, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, from 1 - 2-year-old culms. Treated with 100 ppm IAA and planted in a sand bed, the cuttings could be potted when rooted (after about 20 days) and transplanted to the field after 2 - 3 months[310 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bambu duri, Bambu gesing, Buloh duri, Buloh sikai, Gesing bamboo, Haur chuchuk, Haur cucuk, Kauayan-tinik, Kida, Mai phai ban, Phai-sisuk, Phaix banz, Piao lahe, Pio titoca, Pring gesing, Pring ori, Ru'ssei roliek, Tituka, Tre gai, Tre la nga

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Asia, Australia, Cambodia, China, Guam, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Pacific, Palau, Philippines, SE Asia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Yap

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Bambusa bambosGiant Thorny Bamboo33
Bambusa heterostachyaMalay Dwarf Green00
Bambusa multiplexHedge Bamboo, Chinese Goddess Bamboo20
Bambusa nutansNodding Bamboo, Mai bong20
Bambusa odashimaeOdashimae Bamboo40
Bambusa oldhamiiRyoku-Chiku, Giant Timber Bamboo, Oldham's Bamboo20
Bambusa polymorphaBurmese bamboo, Jama Betua20
Bambusa tuldaBengal Bamboo. Spineless Indian bamboo20
Bambusa vulgarisCommon Bamboo32
Chimonobambusa marmoreaKan-Chiku10
Chimonobambusa pachystachysThorny Bamboo10
Chimonobambusa purpurea 10
Chimonobambusa quadrangularisSquare Bamboo20
Chimonobambusa szechuanensis 10

 

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Schult. & Schult.f.

Botanical References

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For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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