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Bambusa tulda - Roxb.

Common Name Bengal Bamboo. Spineless Indian bamboo
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mixed deciduous forest in plains, valleys, and along streams, up to elevations of 1,500 metres[310 ]. Common on flat alluvial land along streams in the mixed deciduous forests and along the banks of dry water-courses in Myanmar[418 ].
Range E. Asia - northern India to Myanmar and Thailand.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Bambusa tulda Bengal Bamboo. Spineless Indian bamboo

wikimedia.org Dvellakat
Bambusa tulda Bengal Bamboo. Spineless Indian bamboo
wikimedia.org Dvellakat


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Bambusa tulda also know as Indian timber bamboo or Bengal Bamboo is native to the Indian subcontinent, Indochina, Tibet, and Yunnan, and naturalized in Iraq, Puerto Rico, and parts of South America. It prefers a tropical or subtropical climates. It is used extensively by the paper pulp industry in India and with near solid culms makes an excellent strong timber.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Bambusa tulda is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 15 m (49ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Bambusa macala Buch.-Han. ex Munro Bambusa trigyna Roxb. ex Munro Dendrocalamus tulda (Roxb.) Voight.

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Shoots
Edible Uses:

The young shoots are edible but taste slightly bitter, therefore they are often pickled[310 ]. The young shoots are harvested as they emerge from the soil.

References   More on Edible Uses

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

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Basketry  Biomass  Containers  Paper  Roofing  Shelterbelt  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: In its natural area Bambusa tulda is also often planted as a wind-break around farms and fields[310 ]. Other Uses: Near solid culms and hence very strong timber. The culms are generally used for construction, scaffolding, furniture, boxes, basketry, mats, household utensils, handicrafts and as raw material for paper pulp[310 ]. Used extensively by the paper pulp industry in India. In Thailand the handicrafts made of this bamboo, polished with a mixture of Young oil and oleoresin, are famous[310 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

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

A plant of the moist, lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 1,500 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28c, but can tolerate 9 - 32c[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 2,500mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,500mm[418 ]. Prefers a position in dappled shade, also succeeding in full sun[418 ]. Grows best in fertile, medium to heavy soils[418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 6.5[418 ]. 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 ]. About one month after germination a seedling produces its first stem and at this stage the rhizome also starts to develop. After 9 months 4 - 5 young culms have been formed[310 ]. Shoot growth starts at the beginning of the rainy season and it takes approximately 1 month to emerge above the ground. Height increase of the shoots may attain as much as 70 cm per day[310 ]. Culms complete their growth within 2 - 3 months after their emergence as shoots, and their diameter and height do not increase as they become older. Young shoots to be used as a vegetable should preferably be harvested while they are still underground. In plantations, selective felling of older culms may start 5 - 7 years after planting. Normally 3 - 4-year-old culms are harvested, retaining at least 3 - 6 evenly spaced culms per clump. A 4-year felling cycle is often adopted. Traditionally, the harvested canes are submerged for 10 - 20 days in running water to improve resistance to powder-post beetles. Subsequently the culms are air dried for 1.5 - 3.5 months. The culms suffer considerably from cracking and collapse. Cracks often extend along the entire length of the internodes and the culm collapses at these cracks. To improve their durability, culms can be treated with solutions of sodium carbonate, calcium hydroxide or copper sulphate[310 ]. The annual yield of dry culms is about 3 tonnes/ha in India[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. Bengal bamboo normally flowers gregariously for a period of 2 years in a cycle of 25 - 40 years, and produces viable seed[310 ]. However, it also often flowers sporadically or in small groups, without an obvious cycle[310 ]. In Bangladesh several forms are distinguished: 'tulda bans' is the normal form; 'jowa bans' is a large form with longer and thicker culms, mainly used for scaffolding and construction; and 'basini bans' is a form with a larger cavity in the culms and is mainly used for basketry[310 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Managed Multistem  Regularly removing some multiple stems. A non-A non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.
  • Other Systems: Multistrata  Multistrata agroforests feature multiple layers of trees often with herbaceous perennials, annual crops, and livestock.
  • Other Systems: Strip intercrop  Tree crops grown in rows with alternating annual crops.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

Seed - under ambient conditions, the seed remains viable for about 1 month only; when stored dry (in a desiccator over silica gel) viability can be extended to up to 1.5 years[310 ]. Surface sow the seed in containers as soon as it is ripe, preferably at a temperature around 20c. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination of around 70%[310 ] 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 rhizome cuttings with direct planting in the field is very successful (survival more than 90%) and average height of shoots 2.5 months after planting is 1.35 m. Rhizome parts can best be taken at the beginning of the rainy season from 1 - 2-year-old culms and planted in pits of 60 cm3 at a spacing of 8 m x 8 m[310 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Auwa gubwi, Ba, Bambu india, Bas, Bong, Chat-wa, Deo-bans, Deobans, Govatuoi, Jati bah, Mai bong, Mak, Peka, Phai hangchang, Phai-bongdam, Rawthing, Talagu-wa, Taru bans, Thaik-wa, Tre xim, Tulda, Wandal

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Found In

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

Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India - Assam, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Northeastern India, Pacific, Philippines, SE Asia, Thailand, USA, Vietnam.

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

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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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