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Bambusa polymorpha - Munro.

Common Name Burmese bamboo, Jama Betua
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 9-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Abundant throughout the more humid types of mixed deciduous forest, particularly on the lower slopes and in well-drained valleys. It flourishes best and reaches its largest dimensions on deep fertile loams[ 310 ].
Range Southeast Asia - northeastern India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Care
Half Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Bambusa polymorpha Burmese bamboo, Jama Betua


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Bambusa polymorpha Burmese bamboo, Jama Betua
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Summary

Burmese Bamboo, Bambusa polymorpha, is a tropical plant that grows on lower slopes and in well drained valleys. It reaches up to 25 m tall and 15 cm across. The stems are erect but can curve towards the top part. It is grayish green in color, covered with whitish brown hair, and turn brownish green upon drying. Culms of this species are used as construction material. The plant can be grown from seeds or cuttings. Other Names: Bar, Kyathaungwa, Narangi bas, Phai-hom.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Bambusa polymorpha is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 12 m (39ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 9. and are pollinated by Wind. Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerates strong winds but not maritime exposure.

Synonyms

Arundarbor polymorpha (Munro) Kuntze Bambusa cyanostachya Kurz ex Gamble

Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible portion: Shoots. The young shoots are edible but are reputed to taste very bitter[ 310 ]. The plant yields excellent sweet shoots, but sometimes they are regarded as bitter[ 317]. The young shoots are harvested as they emerge from the soil.

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.



None known

Other Uses

Other uses rating: High (4/5). Agroforestry Uses: Commonly associated in the wild with teak (Tectona grandis), the plant is seen as an indicator of deep, rich, well-drained soils on which teak also develops well[ 310 , 418 ]. Other Uses Culms of Bambusa polymorpha are used for construction (walls, floors, roofs), matting, handicrafts, paper- and board-making[ 310 ]. The natural durability of Bambusa polymorpha is poor. Untreated, exposed culms are destroyed within 19 months by termites, fungi and borers. Traditionally, harvested culms are submerged for 10 - 20 days in running water and air dried before being used. Green culms lose about 40% of their weight when air dried[ 310 ].

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass;  Management: Managed Multistem;  Minor Global Crop;  Other Systems: Multistrata;  Other Systems: Strip intercrop.

A plant of the tropics. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 22 - 28c, but can tolerate 9 - 32c[ 418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,200 - 2,500mm, but tolerates 700 - 4,500mm[ 418 ]. Prefers a position in light shade, tolerating full sun[ 418 ]. Grows best on a deep, fertile, well-drained, loam soils[ 310 , 418 ]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, tolerating 4.5 - 6.5[ 418 ]. Bamboos have an interesting method of growth. Each plant produces a number of new stems annually - these stems grow to their maximum height in their first year of growth, subsequent growth in the stem being limited to the production of new side branches and leaves. In the case of some mature tropical species the new stem could be as much as 30 metres tall, with daily increases in height of 30cm or more during their peak growth time. This makes them some of the fastest-growing species in the world[ K ]. Bamboos in general are usually monocarpic, living for many years before flowering, then flowering and seeding profusely for a period of 1 - 3 years before usually dying. The life cycle of this species is estimated at 60 years. It normally flowers gregariously for about 2 - 3 years, after which the clump dies[ 310 ]. Natural regeneration is through seed, which is produced abundantly. A seedling needs more than 10 years to develop into a mature clump[ 310 ]. In India, some 6-year-old clumps, developed from rhizome cuttings, contained on average 80 culms that were 11 metres tall and 17cm in diameter[ 310 ]. Harvesting of culms may start when clumps are more than 5 years old. Culms to be harvested should be older than 1.5 years; for construction purposes, 3 - 4-year-old culms are preferred. For a sustainable yield, at least 8 - 10 old culms should be left in the clump[ 310 ]. To protect natural bamboo forests, proper harvesting regulations should be established[ 310 ]. Production: A 1000 seeds weigh 38 g.

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in containers as soon as it is ripe, preferably at a temperature around 20?c. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination of around 40%[ 310 ] usually takes place fairly quickly so long as the seed is of good quality, though it can take 3 - 6 months. Prick out the seedlings into containers when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a lightly shaded place until large enough to plant out, at around 30 - 50cm tall[ 310 ]. Plants only flower at intervals of many years and so seed is rarely available. Division as new growth commences[ 220 ]. Take divisions with at least three canes in the clump, trying to cause as little root disturbance to the main plant as possible. Grow them on in light shade in pots of a high fertility sandy medium. Mist the foliage regularly until plants are established. Plant them out into their permanent positions when a good root system has developed, which can take a year or more[ 200 ]. Rhizome cuttings are preferably taken from 2-year-old culms; their survival rate is almost 100%. For larger plantations, rhizome cuttings are not practical because too many mother clumps have to be damaged[ 310 ]. Branch cuttings, planted under humid conditions, have been successful in Bangladesh (90% success rate); induction of roots and rhizomes on branches still on the living plant had a 80% success rate[ 310 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Burmese Bamboo, Bambusa polymorpha. Other Names: Bar, Kyathaungwa, Narangi bas, Phai-hom.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Found In: Asia, Australia, Bangladesh, Burma, Central America, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Puerto Rico, SE Asia, Thailand, USA.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed.

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameEdibility RatingMedicinal Rating
Bambusa bambosGiant Thorny Bamboo33
Bambusa blumeanaSpiny Bamboo. Spiny bamboo, Thorny bamboo20
Bambusa heterostachyaMalay Dwarf Green00
Bambusa multiplexHedge Bamboo, Chinese Goddess Bamboo20
Bambusa nutansNodding Bamboo, Mai bong20
Bambusa odashimaeOdashimae Bamboo40
Bambusa oldhamiiRyoku-Chiku, Giant Timber Bamboo, Oldham's Bamboo20
Bambusa tuldaBengal Bamboo. Spineless Indian bamboo20
Bambusa vulgarisCommon Bamboo32
Chimonobambusa marmoreaKan-Chiku10
Chimonobambusa pachystachysThorny Bamboo10
Chimonobambusa purpurea 10
Chimonobambusa quadrangularisSquare Bamboo20
Chimonobambusa szechuanensis 10

 

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For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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