Dendrocalamus hamiltonii

Dendrocalamus hamiltonii Nees & Arn. ex Munro
Line drawing of Dendrocalamus hamiltonii,
in J. S. Gamble,
Bambuseae Brit. India, 1896, pl. 74.

  • Synonyms: Sinocalamus hamiltonii (Nees & Arn. ex Munro) T. Q. Nguyen.
  • Thai names: ไผ่หก (phai hok) (Phetchabun); ไผ่นวลใหญ่ (phai nuan yai) (Kanchanaburi); ไผ่เผี่ยว (phai phiao) (Northern); Ref.: — ไผ่หกหวาน (phai hok wan), ไผ่หกนวลใหญ่ (phai hok nuan yai). Chinese names: 版纳甜龙竹 (bǎn nà tián lóng zhú), for D. hamiltonii; 巴氏龙竹 (bā shì lóng zhú), for D. parishii.
  • Distribution: THAILAND, possibly native [might have been con­fused with D. brandisii]. BHUTAN, NEPAL, INDIA (North, North-East), MYANMAR: "By far the commonest Himalayan Dendrocalamus species is D. hamiltonii. This species is apparently found along the entire Himalayan range, where it grows in gullies in subtropical forest types, especially along the outer ranges of hills … It is also found further into the foothills where it is quite widely planted." (C. M. A. Stapleton, Bamboos Nepal Bhutan I, 1994: 21). CHINA (Yunnan): plants recorded as D. hamiltonii from China (image) are now considered mis­identified and to represent true D. parishii (Y. B. Guo & N. H. Xia, in J. Top. Subtrop. Bot., 2010). Also recorded from LAOS.
  • Culm size: 10 - 23 m height, 10 - 18 cm diameter.
  • Descriptions: (1) J. S. Gamble, Bambuseae Brit. India, 1896: 84 [#1230]. (2) Kew GrassBase.
    (3) K. K. Seethalakshmi & M. S. Muktesh Kumar, Bamboos of India, INBAR, 1998: p. 109 [#1062]. — The shape of the culm sheath of the line drawing (fig. 30, p. 109) looks more like Dendrocalamus parishii than D. hamiltonii.
  • Images: Line drawing in Gamble, 1896: pl. 74. Photos in AsianFlora (leaves); S. J. Pei &al., 1998: fig. 8 (culms, culm sheath) [#1107].
  • Characters (based on Kew GrassBase and C. M. A. Stapleton, 1994): Rhizome pachymorph, short-necked; culms erect or arching, without branches on lower culm; culm internodes 30 - 50 cm long, pubescent when young, dark green, gray when old, thick-walled; culm sheaths rough, glabrous or with rigid dark brown hairs; culm sheath auricles small, triangular; culm sheath ligule entire; foliage leaf blades large, 20 - 37 cm long, 2 - 4 cm wide, rough, glabrous; leaf sheaths with stiff whitish hairs. —
    D. hamiltonii var. hamiltonii: Culm internodes up to 9 cm in diameter, not basally swollen; culm sheath blades slightly undulating. — D. hamiltonii var. undulatus: Culms erect to drooping, not pendulous, maximum height 23 m, culm inter­nodes irregularly shaped, up to 15 cm in diameter, often basally swollen, shorter; culm sheath blades strongly undulating. —
    D. hamiltonii var. edulis: Culms more pendulous.
  • Uses: D. hamiltonii var. undulatus: Culms are used for making pillars and containers, and not for weaving; leaves for fodder. — D. hamiltonii var. edulis: Best suitable for production of edible shoots.
  • Comments: (1) Flowers known. (2) "There is substantial variation within this species and it has several distinct varieties" (C. M. A. Stapleton, 1994), two were described as var. undulatus and var. edulis. (3) Thai plants under the name phai hok and identified as D. hamiltonii were described as having young culm internodes with gray hairs (A. Anantachot, 1991: 52-54).
  • Specimens: BS-0663 [BBG] [SSG] (living plants), raised from seeds received from FMXG, China, 30 May 2011.
  • Flowering and seeding: Compilation of Bamboo Seeds: BS-0663.
  • Comments: It is a species of Dendrocalamus, but species identification as D. hamiltonii has not yet been confirmed.

      cl. Mae Hia, MH-027
  • Specimens: MH-027 (living plants), แม่เหียะ (Mae Hia), Chiang Mai, cult., 8 Feb. 2012.
  • Characters: Culm internodes whitish-pubescent. Nodes with aerial roots. Culm sheaths rough, with rigid dark brown hairs; sheath apex broad-triangular; culm sheath auricles upright, narrow-triangular; culm sheath ligule serrulate; culm sheath blade erect, large, blade base almost as broad as sheath apex. Leaf sheaths glabrous, or with few whitish hairs, apex reddish when young; leaf sheath ligule long, chaffy. Foliage leaf blades large.

      cl. Pa Pae, BS-0610
  • Specimens: BS-0610 (culm leaves), "ไผ่หกขาว" (phai hok khao), coll. by D.O., 5 Dec. 2010, at บ้านป่าแป๋ (Ban Pa Pae), อ. แม่แตง (Mae Taeng District), Chiang Mai, from cult. plant.
  • Characters: Culm sheaths rough; sheath apex broad-triangular; culm sheath auricles upright, narrow-triangular to crescent-shaped, bristly; culm sheath ligule subentire; culm sheath blade erect, large, blade base almost as broad as sheath apex. Foliage leaf blades large.


Dendrocalamus hamiltonii: Culm leaves, BS-0610 (left), MH-027 (right)

Flowering of ไผ่หก (phai hok), presumably Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Thailand, 30 Jan. 2014:
Post by Niramit Sareerudt.

Flowering of ไผ่หก (phai hok), presumably Dendrocalamus hamiltonii, Thailand, 8 Feb. 2014:
Post by สวนไผ่นานาพันธุ์ สวน (suan phai nana phan suan).