Schizostachyum brachycladum

Schizostachyum brachycladum (Kurz ex Munro) Kurz
  • Synonym: Melocanna zollingeri var. brachyclada Kurz ex Munro.
  • Thai names: ไผ่โป (phai po) (Trang); ไผ่โพ (phai pho) (Trang). Meaning and derivation of the Thai names are not clear. โป (po) has two meanings, one of them denotes a kind of gambling game, the other means "to swell", and โพ (pho) is the name of a tree. Malay name: Buloh nipis.
  • Distribution: THAILAND (South): Trang, in forest, wild; also cultivated; MALAYSIA: Peninsula, Borneo; SINGAPORE; INDONESIA: Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, Lesser Sunda Islands; PHILIPPINES; LAOS; VIETNAM.
  • Culm size: Height 15 - 20 m, diameter 8 - 10 cm.
  • Descriptions: (1) S. Dransfield in S. Dransfield & E. A. Widjaja (editors), Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 7, Bamboos, 1995: p. 132-133, fig. [#1226].
    (2) H. B. Gilliland, Revised Flora of Malaya, vol. 3, 1971: p. 42 [#1039]. (3) K. M. Wong, Bamboos of Peninsular Malaysia, 1995: p. 167-168, fig. 94-95 [#1210]. (4) K. K. Seethalakshmi & M. S. Muktesh Kumar, Bamboos of India, INBAR, 1998: p. 237 [#1062]. (5) Kew GrassBase.
  • Images: Line drawing in Flora of Taiwan.
  • Characters: Culms stiffly erect, slightly bending above. Culm internodes green, 40 - 60 cm long, scattered with very short appressed white hairs when young, glabrous when old, white-waxy below nodes, thin-walled. Branches many, subequal.
  • Uses: Shoots edible; culms for handicraft and water containers; internodes for cooking vessels.
  • Cultivation requirements: Easy growing, thrives well in moist sandy clay and sandy loam soil with good drainage, exposed to full sun or light shade.
  • Comments: (1) Flowers known. The species is known to flower frequently, nearly every year, and this sporadic flowering does not seriously harm the plant. There are usually no seeds produced. (2) The species comprises a green wild form, and two cultivated varieties with different stem colors. The cultivated varieties are rather stable but may occasionally revert into the green wild form.

Schizostachyum brachycladum 'Bali Kuning'
  • Synonyms: 'Bali Golden Sacred'; 'Sacred Bali'.
  • Thai names: ไผ่ทอง (phai thong), ไผ่สีทอง (phai si thong). The Thai word "thong" means gold. The cultivar name, Bali Kuning, refers to Bali where this bamboo is commonly planted, and to the culm color (Indonesian "kuning" means yellow).
  • Distribution: In cultivation in THAILAND, MALAYSIA, INDONESIA; introduced in many countries worldwide.
  • Local distribution: Widely and frequently planted as an ornamental in the Chiang Mai area; offered for sale at Kham Thiang Market almost throughout year.
  • Culm size: Height up to 10 (12) m, diameter up to 5 (6) cm.
  • Specimens: BS-0191 etc., comprising: BS-0191 [N3], BS-0191-1 [-], BS-0208 [S6], BS-0425 [-] (living plants), northern Thailand, cult.
  • Characters:
    (1) Rhizome pachymorph, short, forming a dense clump. Culms stiffly erect; young shoots emerge July - October. Culm internodes thin-walled (5th internode 120 cm above ground with wall 3 mm thick by 2.9 cm culm diameter), orange-yellow, with an occasional narrow green stripe. Culm leaves: Culm leaf sheath yellowish brown, with red-brown hairs; culm leaf ligule hairy; culm leaf blade broadly triangular to dome-shaped, somewhat inflated. Foliage leaves: Foliage leaf blade large, green, occasionally with one or a few narrow yellow stripes, glabrous above, pubescent beneath.
    (2) Culm size: Diameter increasing with height, gradually increasing from base to lower mid-culm up to 11% (e.g. BS-0208: basal diameter 4.5 cm, diameter 5.0 cm on 7th internode at 2.0 m above ground; BS-0191: basal diameter 4.0 cm, diameter 4.3 cm on 7th internode at 1.9 m above ground), then remaining constant for several meters and gradually decreasing towards top. A culm diameter which increases with the culm height between base and lower mid-culm has also been observed in some other species (e.g. in genus Dendrocalamus, Gigantochloa, Melocalamus, Schizostachyum) under cultivation at Baan Sammi: BS-0006, BS-0078, BS-0494, BS-0550, BS-0602, BS-0724. The diameter difference can be seen with the naked eye, but are not that impressive as in BS-0550.
  • Uses: Culms for handicraft, musical instruments (in both the flute and percussion families), and interior design like ceilings; plants as garden ornamental (solitary).
  • Flowering and seeding: Flowers known; plants flower nearly every year without harm to the plants. Usually, seeds are not produced. There is a recent, single record from Thailand of both flowering and seeding in Compilation of Bamboo Seeds: BS-0191A.
  • Comments: (1) One of the most striking feature bamboos. (2) This cultivar is rather stable but may occasionally revert into its green wild form. There are records of the yellow-stem variety having reverted into the green wild form (Chiang Mai, Costa Rica), and into the yellow-striped green stem variety (Costa Rica).

Schizostachyum brachycladum 'Ratchaphruek'
  • Thai names: ไผ่ราชพฤกษ์ (phai ratcha­phruek), ไผ่เขียวอมร (phai khiao amon). The first name alludes to the garden, Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, Chiang Mai, where this variety grows; in the second name, "khiao" translated means green, and "amon", immortal, god, or combined can be translated as green deity.
  • English names: Royal Flora Bamboo.
  • Distribution: THAILAND, in cultivation.
  • Local distribution: Known from Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, Mae Hia district, and from Queen Sirikit Botanic Garden, Mae Rim district, both Chiang Mai Province.
  • Culm size: Height up to 10 (12) m, diameter up to 5 (6) cm.
  • Specimens: BS-0592 etc., comprising: BS-0592 [-], BS-0592-1 [E1-R08], QSBG-01, RFR-004, (living plants), northern Thailand, cult.
  • Characters: Culm green with narrow yellow stripes of varying width.
  • Uses: Plants as garden ornamental.
  • Comments: This cultivar is rather stable but may occasionally revert into its yellow form (observed on plant BS-0592-1 at Baan Sammi, Aug. 2015), or into its green form (observed on a plant at Royal Flora Ratchaphruek, Chiang Mai, June 2009).