Selected Trees and Shrubs
Bambusa spinosa; Syn.: B. bambos, B. arundinaceae; Common name: Spiny Bamboo
Plant Family: Belongs to the Poaceae or Grass family, which includes Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum), Corn (Zea mays) and Roseau or Wild Cane, (Gynerium sagittatum).
Description: The specimens, in what is called the Bamboo Den, are located on SE side of the old water fountain, but need replanting at center of clump; these are perennial, clumping trees from thick rhizomes; tall, giant grass, woody, densely tufted, fast-growing species, up to 40 m high (130 ft) in natural habitat, curving at top; stem circular, 10-18 cm diameter (4-7 in); stem wall very thick, with stem sometimes almost solid; internodes prominent, 30–45 cm long (12-18 in), lowest nodes rooting; stem-sheaths leathery, orange-yellow when young, hairy outside, 30–45 cm long (12-18 in); branches numerous, lower ones long, wiry, and armed with thorns; leaves linear, 10-20 cm long (4-8 in), 1-2 cm wide (0.4-0.8 in); flowering rare, but if it does, will occur at nodes in large panicles.
Natural Habitat: A tropical and subtropical Bamboo, preferring sheltered, moist locations and deep soils at low and medium altitudes; propagated by suckers and mature joints with buds, and requiring high humidity and warm soil.
Origin and Distribution: Literature suggests native of SE Asia, with distribution north into China and south to Australia.
Uses: Stems used for building bamboo houses, furniture, and for utensils; young, tender shoots edible as vegetable; medicinally, used primarily in SE Asia -- leaf decoction for childbirth lochia, young leaves used as vermifuge; root decoction used to aid urine voiding; young shoot poultice for expelling worms from ulcers; ointment from root said to be remedy for cirrhosis and hard tumors, especially tumors of abdomen, liver, spleen and stomach.
Anon. [Joseph Jones?]. Official Guide to the Botanic Gardens, Dominica. Kew Gardens, London 1924?
Bambusa arundinacea. NewCROP, Center for New Crops and Plant Products, Purdue University, Lafayette, Indiana 1997 (hort.purdue.edu)
H.F. Macmillan. Tropical Planting and Gardening. Macmillan, London 1956
Melanie Arcudi. Bambusa bambos. The International Bamboo Foundation, Paia, Hawaii n.d. (ecoport.org)
Kauayan Bamboo. Phillipine Medicinal Plants, Phillipines n.d. (stuartxchange.org)
A Guide to Growing Bamboo for Food Production, The Australian Bamboo Network, New South Wales, Australia 2003 (ctl.com.au)
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