Dendrocalamus sp. (TH: N) — sang mon

Dendrocalamus sp.

Phai sang mon (Uttaradit), Dendrocalamus sp. (BS-0228):
Four culms, a few months old, farinose


  • Misapplied name: Dendrocalamus sericeus Munro.
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น (phai sang mon).
  • Distribution: THAILAND: northern and northeastern part, planted, not rare, no records on wild occurrence known, possibly introduced in early times.
  • Culm size: Height to 20 (25) m, dia­meter to 15 (18) cm.
  • Specimens: BS-0228 &c., comprising: BS-0014, BS-0022, BS-0024, BS-0025, BS-0190, BS-0217, BS-0228, BS-0228-2, BS-0228-3, BS-0264, BS-0305, BS-0345, BS-0413, BS-0414, BS-0415 (living plants); BS-0021 (flowering), BS-0021A (from seeds).
  • Characters (based on BS-0228 and BS-0264): Habit tight caespitose. Rhizome pachymorph, short. Culms erect, straight upright, strong. Young shoots reddish (orange to pinkish to purplish), scattered short dark hairy; culm-leaf blades almost erect to deflexed, usually not reflexed, reddish-green to dark purplish; emerge May – September. Culm-internodes relatively short, 7–12 cm on basal culm, 15–28 (33) cm on lower culm, 30–40 cm on mid-culm, 40–27 cm on upper culm, 27–15–10 cm long on the last 2–3 m to the top, glabrous, smooth, mid-green, powdery white waxy throughout (farinose deposit long lasting though easily removable), thus appearing bluish green, a few basal internodes occasionally much shortened and with oblique nodes; thick-walled (walls 2.1 cm thick in 4th internode of 7 cm in diameter and 0.7 m above ground). Culm-nodes glabrous, initially farinose, flat, but slightly prominent on thin culms; sheath scar dark purplish to black when young, 0.5–1 mm protruding; supranodal line obscure, not ridged, about 5 mm above nodal line; with a white densely farinose ring 0.5–1.2 (2) cm high below sheath scar, and 0.4–0.7 (1.5) cm high above sheath scar, both rings obscure from overall farinose deposit; buds solitary, from basal node up, broader than tall, 2.5 × 1.7 cm; occasionally with aerial roots on basal culm. Branches several, 1 slightly dominant, ascending; branches on lower culm few and rudimentary, or unbranched, branches usually from 16th to 21st (37th) node upwards; branching intravaginal, basipetal (from top towards lower culm). Culm-leaves early deciduous. Culm-leaf sheath leathery, 23 cm wide at base, 37 cm long, green to reddish green with light green to yellowish green stripes when young, light reddish brown or light reddish straw-colored when dry, with a few short stiff dark brown hairs chiefly on the upper part of sheath, otherwise glabrous; margins eciliate, or pale ciliolate initially on upper margin; apex symmetrically rounded, slightly concave at the junction with blade. Culm-leaf auricles very low, waved and slightly outward bent glabrous stiff rims, each extending from the basal edge of blade towards but not reaching the margin of sheath, blackish when young; bristles none. Culm-leaf ligule rather high, (5) 7–11 mm, purplish when young, dark straw-colored when dry, margin irregularly toothed, the teeth at the ends of the ligule somewhat higher, without bristles. Culm-leaf blade small, about one forth of length of sheath, long and narrow, glabrous, dark purplish green when young, dark grayish when dry, persistent to sheath, usually erect or nearly so at lower culm, reflexed from mid-culm up; margins not or slightly convolute towards apex. Foliage-leaves (5) 7–12 (14) per branchlet. Foliage-leaf sheath keeled, yellowish green when young, glabrous; margins eciliate. Foliage-leaf auricles inconspicuous very low rims, less than 0.5 mm high; bristles none. Foliage-leaf ligule 2–3 mm high, convex rounded, yellowish green to orange green when young, reddish with age; margin entire or subentire. Foliage-leaf blades firm, mid-green to dark green above, slightly dull mid-green or bluish green beneath, medium-sized, (15) 23–33 (39) × (1.5) 3–4 (4.7) cm, lanceolate, glabrous on both surfaces; base rounded to wedge-shaped; apex attenuate; margins antrorsely scaberulous to smooth; midrib proximally prominent on both surfaces, light green beneath; side veins 4–9 pairs, not tessellate; petiole 4–6 mm long.
  • Uses: Culms for construction, house construction, furniture, and for making chop-sticks and tooth-picks (in Uttaradit); plants for landscaping, suitable for tall screening.
  • Cultivation requirements: Easy growing, thrives well in heavy moist soil with good drainage, seems to prefer rich soil and cool humid climate.
  • Provisional identification: Phai sang mon is similar to Dendrocalamus giganteus but distinct enough in vegetative characters that they could be kept separate easily (→ Table 1, below). Culms of phai sang mon are less tall and smaller in diameter than Dendrocalamus giganteus, but stiffly erect (less so, or basally slightly ascending, or apically bending in D. giganteus), culm-internode length is shorter, on basal, lower and mid-culm. In D. giganteus, there is a narrow brown hairy ring below and above sheath scar, but these hairy rings are absent in phai sang mon. The culm-leaf of phai sang mon is similar to Dendrocalamus giganteus in shape and general appearance, but neither auricles nor ligule seem to be different. In phai sang mon, the sheath is a little less thick, hairs on the abaxial surface are fewer, and the blade is initially erect to deflexed (deflexed to usually reflexed in D. giganteus). The foliage-leaf blades of phai sang mon are medium-sized (whereas larger both in length and width in D. giganteus). Further, there are differences in the shape of the foliage-leaf sheath apex and ligule, which have a long acute extension on the edge of the sheath apex in D. giganteus (lacking in phai sang mon). These character distinctions were observed in one nearly mature, and in two immature plants of D. giganteus, and in more than 3 mature plants of phai sang mon, all of them from different locations in Thailand. Further investigation and comparison with more material from different sources is needed to get a better proof of these character distinctions. The recent flowering of phai sang mon could make further investigation of its generative characters possible. However, it is currently only known that the spikelets of phai sang mon are much smaller than those of D. giganteus, and that phai sang mon is apparently not listed in the Flora of China (Sarawood Sungkaew, pers. comm., fb 28 Dec. 2017).
  • Comments: (1) In printed and Online publications, the Thai name, ไผ่ซางหม่น (phai sang mon), is often found associated with the botanical name, Dendro­calamus sericeus Munro (in Trans. Linn. Soc. London 26(1), 1868: p. 148-149 [#1251]). However, D. sericeus was described from plants grown on the Parasnath Hill, Giridih District of Jharkhand State in eastern India (located within former Bengal of British India), and is apparently closely related to D. strictus, and not to phai sang mon. Recently, D. sericeus was investigated and relegated into synonymy of D. strictus by a botanist from India (→ Dendrocalamus strictus var. sericeus). (2) There exist several named selections of phai sang mon, which might not deserve cultivar status. Not all their characters could be observed in detail because some clones were immature and are no longer kept in cultivation at Baan Sammi. (3) There are several records that phai sang mon is flowering in northern Thailand, possibly single plants only, no mass flowering. I have seen one cultivated plant of phai sang mon (cl. Siad Fa) gregariously flowering in Chiang Dao in January 2010, but specimens or photos were not taken. In July 2011, I received several small plants (BS-0021) that derived from former vegetative propagation of cl. Siad Fa. A few plants flowered and died thereafter, a few seeds could be collected from a single flowering plant, and seedlings raised (→ cl. Siad Fa). Another small plant of cl. Fa Mon flowered in 2015 and died thereafter, but neither seeds nor seedlings could be found (→ cl. Fa Mon).

Distinguishing vegetative characters

Phai sang mon – ไผ่ซางหม่นBS-0014, BS-0228

Dendrocalamus giganteus — BS-0338

Culm: Habit

stiffly erect

erect, occasionally ascending or slanting from base up

Culm: Size

height to 20 (25) m, diameter to 15 (18) cm

height to 30 m or little more, diameter to 30 cm

Culm-internode: Length

to 40 cm long on mid-culm, 7–12 cm long on basal culm (to 50–60 cm from ground)

to 55 cm on mid-culm, (9) 15–22 cm on basal culm (to 40 cm from ground)

Culm-node: Surface

initially farinose (white narrow farinose ring below and above sheath scar), without hairs

with a narrow ring of short brown hairs, dense furry below sheath scar, felty and less dense above sheath scar, the hairs whitish if covered by a farinose deposit BS-0338_62

Culm-node: Bud

2.5 wide, 1.7 cm high

3.0 cm wide, 1.7 cm high

Culm-node: Aerial roots

occasionally present on 1–3 lowermost nodes (up to 20–35 cm from ground)

commonly present on 1–5 lowermost nodes (up to 1 m from ground)

Culm-leaf sheath: Indument

with scattered brown hairs

thinly covered with brown hairs

Culm-leaf blade: Posture

erect to deflexed on lower culm

deflexed to reflexed

Culm-leaf blade: Persistence

persistent to sheath

usually caducous

Culm-leaf blade: Shape

margins not or slightly convolute towards apex

margins strongly convolute towards apex

Foliage-leaf sheath: Apex

edge somewhat raised — BS-0014_09, BS-0228_053

edge strongly raised (4–6 mm) —
BS-0338_05, BS-0789_18

Foliage-leaf ligule: Shape and size

convex rounded, 2–3 mm high —
BS-0014_09, BS-0228_053

concave rounded — BS-0338_05, BS-0789_18

Foliage-leaf blade: Size

mid-sized, (15) 23–33 (39) cm long, (1.5) 3–4 (4.7) cm wide

large, (15) 25–45 (50) cm long, (3) 5–8 (10) cm wide


Table 1: Distinguishing vegetative characters between phai sang mon and Dendrocalamus giganteus


      cl. Doi Luang Chiang Dao
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น ดอยหลวงเชียงดาว (phai sang mon doi luang chiang dao); "doi luang chiang dao" = name of the tallest mountain in Chiang Dao District.
  •  
  • Specimens: BS-0025 [BBG], BS-0415 [BBG] (living plants), no longer kept in cultivation at Baan Sammi.
  • Characters: Not observed.
  • Uses: Culms for house construction and furniture.
  • Comments: Characters attributed to this clone by Somjit and by other sources: Culms strong, evenly straight throughout, height 12–18 m; culm internodes with thicker diameter than other clones, up to 18 cm thick, wall on lower internodes 2.5–3.8 cm thick (less than cl. Doi Nang); shoots emerge in April.

      cl. Doi Nang
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น ดอยนาง (phai sang mon doi nang); supposedly, "doi nang" is the name of a mountain in Chiang Mai Province.
  • Images: Post and photos by ชมรมคนรักไผ่ แห่งประเทศไทย (Thai Bamboo Lovers' Club) in facebook, 1 Jan. 2014.
  • Specimens: BS-0022 [-], BS-0413 [BBG] (living plants), no longer kept in cultivation at Baan Sammi.
  • Uses: Culms good for house construction; shoots used locally for food.
  • Characters: Immature plant of BS-0413 observed; there are no significant character differences to BS-0228.
  • Comments: Characters attributed to this clone by Somjit: Culms evenly straight, very strong, diameter 10–15 cm; culm internodes 25–35 cm ["inch"] long, wall 3.8–5 cm thick on lower internodes; shoots of good taste, emerging in April.

      cl. Fa Mon
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น ฟ้าหม่น (phai sang mon fa mon); "fa mon" = dark blue, gloomy sky.
  • Culm size: Height 15–25 m, diameter to 10–15 cm.
  • Images: Post and photos by ชมรมคนรักไผ่ แห่งประเทศไทย (Thai Bamboo Lovers' Club) in facebook, 1 Jan. 2014.
  • Specimens: BS-0023 [-] (living plant), no longer kept in cultivation; BS-0346 [†] (living plant), cult., from Somchit, Chiang Dao, 5 Dec. 2009, died 2016/2017 from flowering.
  • Characters (BS-0346): Young shoots with yellowish to pinkish culm-leaf sheaths with green margins; culm-leaf blades green, waved from initial compression during developing elongation; walls of culm internodes 2.5–3.8 cm thick.
  • Uses: Culms suitable for furniture and house construction; shoots used locally for food.
  • Flowering and seeding: Compilation of Bamboo Seeds: BS-0346.
  • Comments: (1) Characters attributed to this clone by Somjit: Culm internodes 24–40 cm long; shoots of good taste, emerge from March (without irrigation, planted in rich soil on sandy ground) under heavy rain. (2) There are no essential character differences to BS-0228. (3) BS-0346 started flowering in December 2015 and died 2016/2017. No seeds were found in the spikelets, no seedlings were found on the ground by Apr. 2017. Other plants of this clone cultivated in northern Thailand are reported having started flowering one or two years ago, and produced seeds.

      cl. Mae Ping
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น แม่ปิง (phai sang mon mae ping); "mae ping" means Ping River.
  •  
  • Specimens: BS-0024 [-] (living plants), no longer kept in cultivation; BS-0414 [BBG] (living plants), cult., from Somchit, Chiang Dao, 16 Jan. 2010.
  • Uses: Culms good for furniture and house construction; shoots used locally for food.
  • Characters: Young shoots and culms observed, but there are no significant character differences to BS-0228.
  • Comments: Characters attributed to this clone by Somjit: Culms evenly straight, height 20–25 m, culm diameter 10 cm; culm internodes with walls 2.5–5 cm thick on lower part of culms; shoots of good taste, emerge during dry season from January to March.

      cl. Siat Fa
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น เสียดฟ้า (phai sang mon siat fa); "siat" = to pierce; "fa" = sky.
  • Culm size: Height up to 25 m, diameter to 18 cm.
  • Images: Post and photos by ชมรมคนรักไผ่ แห่งประเทศไทย (Thai Bamboo Lovers' Club) in facebook, 1 Jan. 2014.
  •  
  • Specimens: BS-0021 [†] (living plants), cult., from Somchit, Chiang Dao, 28 July 2011, a first plant flowered in Oct. 2011 and died without producing seeds, a second plant flowered from mid June 2012, produced seeds and died in March 2013, a third plant flowered from July 2012, produced seeds and died in 2013; BS-0021A [BBG,SSG] (seeds), from BS-0021, seedlings raised; BS-0345 [BBG] (living plant), cult., from Somchit, Chiang Dao, 5 Dec. 2009, non-flowering so far (Oct. 2017).
  • Characters: Young shoots and culms observed, but there are no significant character differences to BS-0228. Walls of culm internodes 2.5–3.8 cm thick.
  • Uses: Culms for construction and furniture making; shoots used locally for food.
  • Flowering and seeding: Compilation of Bamboo Seeds: BS-0021A.
  • Comments: (1) Characters attributed to this clone by Somjit: Similar to cl. Doi Nang, but culms stronger and taller, height 20–25 m; shoots of good taste, emerge in April; grows well in upland and under drought conditions. (2) This clone is said to occasionally develop twin culms, and culms to be covered with heavy white wax (not yet observed).

      cl. Uttaradit
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น เมีองอุตรดิตถ์ (phai sang mon mueang uttaradit).
  •  
  • Specimens: BS-0228 [E1] (living plant), from Chirawat Nursery, Uttaradit, cult., 25 May 2009.
  • Characters: Description above.
  • Comments: This is a clone from Uttaradit province in northern Thailand, a main center for culm production of this bamboo.


Phai sang mon (Uttaradit), Dendrocalamus sp. (BS-0228): Young shoots (left and center), culm leaf in an early, dry stage (right)


      Chiang Mai
  • Specimens: BS-0190 [E4], BS-0217 [E4], BS-0264 [-] (living plants), cult., all from Kham Thiang Market, Chiang Mai, all received as "ไผ่ซางหม่น" (phai sang mon), 15 Oct. 2008, 16 May 2009, and Sep. 2009.
  • Characters: All of these plants have almost reached their ultimate size, but significant character differences to BS-0228 could not be detected. BS-0264 occasionally develops basal culms with a much shortened internode, sometimes with an oblique node, and walls of basal culm internodes are about 2.3 cm thick.
  • Specimens: BS-0305 [N2] (living plant), บ้านป่าเส้า (Ban Pa Sao), ต. สันปูเลย (San Pu Loei Subdistrict), อ. ดอยสะเก็ด (Doi Saket District), Chiang Mai Province, cult., received as "ไผ่ซางหม่น" (phai sang mon),  "ไผ่ซางเย็น" (phai sang yen), 30 Sep. 2009.
  • Characters: This plant has almost reached its ultimate size, but significant character differences to BS-0228 could not be detected.
  • Specimens: BS-0014 [BBG] (living plant), อ. แม่แตง (Mae Taeng District), Chiang Mai Province, cult., received as "ไผ่ซางหม่น" (phai sang mon), 21 July 2011
    Characters: Young shoots and culms observed, but there are no significant character differences to BS-0228.


Flowering of Dendrocalamus sp. "phai sang mon" in Shan State, Myanmar, 29 Jan. 2014.
Photos by Dr. Cliff Sussman in fb.

Flowering of ไผ่ซางหม่น (phai sang mon), Thailand, 7 Feb. 2014:
fb post by Niramit Sareerudt.

Flowering of ไผ่ซางหม่น (phai sang mon), Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, 7 Feb. 2014:
fb post by สวนไผ่นานาพันธุ์ สวน.

Flowering of ไผ่ซางหม่น (phai sang mon), Chiang Dao district, Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, 23 Aug. 2014:
fb post by Yong Bam Boo.

Photos of young shoots and basal culms in a clump: Dendrocalamus sp. ไผ่ซางหม่น ฟ้าหม่น (phai sang mon fa mon) compared with Dendrocalamus giganteus ไผ่ยักษ์น่าน (phai yak nan), fb post by Thoop Nakasen, 28 Apr. 2015.

Flowering of "Phai Sang Mon Fa Mon", Thailand, 6 Feb. 2017: