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Oldeania alpina

culm sheath apex hairy raised node and thin culm wax leaf sheaths with erect to spreading bristles
older culm internode orange culm sheath apex and base culm node with some thorny roots lower surface of leaf sheaths & blades upright open clump
long series of old  leaf sheaths
see photos at BambooWeb
branches 7 on small  shoot arrested branch shoots
search Google for images
exact origins unknown
see listing in ABS Species & Sources List
no UK supplier
See description in Kew's GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
See description in Kew's GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora

Oldeania alpina (K. Schum.) Stapleton, PhytoKeys 25: 100. 2013.

Synonyms: Arundinaria alpina K. Schum.; Sinarundinaria alpina (K. Schum.) C. S. Chao & Renvoize; Yushania alpina (K. Schum.) W.C. Lin

  Missouri Botanical Garden's Tropicos Database of Names  TROPICOS

    International Plant Names Index   IPNI

   Multilingual Multiscript Plant Names Database  MMPND


Rhizome neck 10-50 cm. Culms to 15(-20) m, to 6(–10) cm in diam., solitary, erect to nodding; nodes lightly raised, supra-nodal ridge conspicuously raised, persistent pubescent culm sheath base very evident, basal nodes and some mid-culm nodes especially on small culms with a prominent ring of short aerial roots; internodes terete or with light to distinct sulcation above branches especially on smaller culms, smooth, not grooved, to 60 cm long, initially pale green with very thin uniform deciduous glaucous wax, becoming glossy yellow-green with orange spots to orange. Branches initially 2-7, reflexed, developing very promptly but sometimes arrested when short and protected by tough sheaths, central dominant, others progressively smaller, lateral branches not all subtended by a sheath; buds triangular, open, budscales tall, 1-keeled, keels ciliate. Culm sheaths papery to leathery, apically triangular, deciduous, initially pale green, with dark to mid-brown, appressed hairs, basally and marginally denser; ligule truncate, long-fimbriate, blade reflexed, deciduous; auricles indistinct; oral setae several, spreading, from thick bases. Leaf sheaths glabrous, very persistent, continuous apical growth producing long sprays of up to 50 persistent sheaths, adaxial margin glabrous, abaxial margin ciliate; ligule to 1mm, obliquely truncate, glabrous; external ligule (callus) well developed, shortly ciliate; auricles small, indistinct to semi-circular, reflexed; oral setae several, white, to 1 cm long, thin, erect to spreading; blade thin, linear-lanceolate, apex shortly acuminate, 6-12(-15) cm in length, adaxially glabrous, abaxially minutely appressed-scabrous and proximally shortly pilose, venation distinctly tessellate. Synflorescence semelauctant, paniculate, branch sheathing reduced to hard bracts, soft sheath remnants or hairs. Prophyll and glumes not subtending buds. Spikelets pedicellate with several fertile florets, pedicel scabrous. Glumes 2, bud remnants present or absent, fertile glumes 4–8. Palea 2-keeled, usually equal in length to lemma. Lodicules 3. Stamens 3; filaments free. Lodicules 3. Stigmas 2.

Name Latin alpina ‘alpine’ referring to its montane habitat, at altitudes above 2200 m across equatorial Africa.

Used in Africa for making fences, furniture, woven panelling, and even entire houses by the Dorze of Ethiopia, but not as extensively used as bamboos in Asia, yet. Provides shelter and food to several African primates, notably the Mountain Gorilla. Rare in cultivation but the upright culms with light foliage make it a very attractive species, worthy of more extensive use, although it is not very frost-hardy and requires high rainfall.

exact origins unknown Oldeania alpina has been introduced to the west from unrecorded sources in Africa on several occasions, but most introductions have died, usually because the species is not as frost-hardy as might be expected from its name, the altitudes at which it grows in Africa, and its tessellate leaf venation.