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Neomicrocalamus andropogonifolius (Shar. ringshu, Keng. yula, Nep. langma)   S41


This species is restricted to the wetter eastern and southern forests in Bhutan, up to 1,800m, where it is found in conjunction with Cephalostachyum latifolium and Chimonobambusa callosa. The long scrambling central branches spread over trees, with sprays of small broad leaves hanging out into the light. The minor branches readjust quickly to changing light direction by growth of small swellings around the nodes. The culms are highly valued because of their flexibility, durability, and hard shiny surface. Split sections are woven into colourful traditional lunch boxes made from two closely fitting bowls (bangchung), other kinds of baskets, and coverings for articles


such as arrow quivers, after dying strips in bright colours. These containers may be almost watertight as the strips from the surface of the culm are smooth and fit together very closely. The edges of the baskets are sown together using strips of a small cane, which are more flexible than strips of bamboo and can be tied into tight knots. The other Neomicrocalamus species, N. prainii from Tibet, NE India and Yunnan apparently has more solid culms, rougher culm sheaths, and narrower leaves. Both species are known from Meghalaya. It should be easy to propagate by the traditional technique, but it needs tree branches or bushes for support and shade.

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