Dendrocalamus sp. (N Thailand) — sang mon

Dendrocalamus sp.

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


  • 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 10 - 20 m, dia­meter to 18 cm.
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  • 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): Habit a tight clump. Rhizome pachymorph, short. Culms erect, straight upright, strong; young shoots emerge May - September. Culm internodes short, 28 - 36 cm on mid-culm, 20 - 26 cm on lower culm, 6 - 20 cm on basal culm, thick-walled, glabrous, smooth, green to bluish green, farinose, a few basal internodes occasionally much shortened and with oblique nodes. Culm nodes glabrous, slightly prominent on thin culms, with aerial root primordias on basal culm; sheath scar dark purplish to black when young; branch buds double as broad as high. Branches several, 1 slightly dominant, ascending; branches on lower culm few, or unbranched; branching intravaginal, from top towards lower culm. Culm leaves early deciduous. Culm leaf sheath leathery, 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 ciliolate initially on upper margin; apex rounded, slightly concave at the attachment with blade; culm leaf auricles and bristles none; culm leaf ligule rather long, 7 - 11 mm, purplish when young, dark straw-colored when dry, margin irregularly shaped, entire; 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 midculm up. Foliage leaves 7 - 12 (14) per branchlet. Foliage leaf sheath yellowish green when young, glabrous; foliage leaf auricles and bristles none; foliage leaf ligule long, yellowish green to orange green when young, margin entire; foliage leaf blades green to dark green, medium-sized, 23 - 33 × 3 - 4.5 cm, glabrous on both surfaces, base rounded to wedge-shaped, apex acute to attenuate; midrib proximally prominent.
  • 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 it could be kept separate until further investigation has been done. The culms of phai sang mon are similar to Dendrocalamus giganteus, but stiffly erect (less so, or basally slightly ascending, or apically bending in D. giganteus), culm internode length is shorter, especially on lower and basal culm, and maximum diameter is less. The culm leaf of phai sang mon is similar to Dendrocalamus giganteus in shape and general appearance. In phai sang mon, the sheath is a little less thick, hairs on the adaxial 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 seem to be differences in the shape of the foliage leaf ligule, which have a long acute extention on the edge of the ligule in D. giganteus (lacking in phai sang mon), but this needs further investigation and comparison with more material from different sources.
  • Comments: (1) In printed and Online publications, the Thai name, ไผ่ซางหม่น (phai sang mon), is often found associated with the botanical name, Dendro­calamus sericeus. How­ever, D. sericeus (known from Bihar, India) is closely related to D. strictus, and not to phai sang mon, and phai sang mon is considered to represent a different species of Dendrocalamus. Recently, D. sericeus was relegated into synonymy of D. strictus by a botanist from India. Phai sang mon is similar to D. giganteus in general appearance, but culm sheaths are different. (2) There exist several named selections of phai sang mon, which might not deserve cultivar status. Their characters could not yet be observed in detail and compared as these plants, except two, are currently still immature. (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, but specimens or photos were not taken. In July 2011, I received several plants (BS-0021) that derived from former vegetative propagation of cl. Siad Fa. One of these plants started flowering, but did not develop seeds and died from flowering.

      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.
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  • Specimens: BS-0025, BS-0415 (living plants), no longer kept in cultivation at Baan Sammi.
  • Characters: Not observed. 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.
  • Uses: Culms for house construction and furniture.

      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 (living plants), no longer kept in cultivation at Baan Sammi.
  • Characters: Not observed. 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.
  • Uses: Culms good for house construction; shoots used locally for food.

      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.
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  • 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: Not yet observed. Walls of culm internodes 2.5 - 3.8 cm thick. 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.
  • Uses: Culms suitable for furniture and house construction; shoots used locally for food.
  • Comments: (1) Fa mon differs considerably from most other clones (BS-0228 etc.), judging from photos of culms, culm sheaths and young shoots. Fa mon seems to be more similar to Dendrocalamus giganteus. (2) 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.
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  • Specimens: BS-0024 (living plants), no longer kept in cultivation; BS-0414 (living plants), cult., from Somchit, Chiang Dao, 16 Jan. 2010.
  • Characters: Not yet observed. 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.
  • Uses: Culms good for furniture and house construction; shoots used locally for food.

      cl. Siad Fa
  • Thai name: ไผ่ซางหม่น เสียดฟ้า (phai sang mon siad fa); "siad" = 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.
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  • 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 (seeds), from BS-0021, seedlings raised; BS-0345 (living plant), cult., from Somchit, Chiang Dao, 5 Dec. 2009, non-flowering so far (1 Mar. 2015).
  • Characters: Not yet observed. Walls of culm internodes 2.5 - 3.8 cm thick. 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.
  • Uses: Culms for construction and furniture making; shoots used locally for food.
  • Comments: This clones 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).
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  • Specimens: BS-0228 (living plant), from Chirawat Nursery, Uttaradit, cult., 25 May 2009.
  • Characters: Not yet observed.
  • 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)


      Kham Thiang
  • Thai names: ไผ่ซางหม่น (phai sang mon).
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  • Specimens: BS-0190 &c., comprising BS-0190, BS-0217, BS-0264 (living plants), cult., all from Kham Thiang Market, Chiang Mai, 15 Oct. 2008, 16 May 2009, and Sep. 2009.


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: