Plants shrub-like, in dense spreading clumps; rhizomes leptomorph. Culms to 6(–10) m, self-supporting, diffuse to pluricespitose, drooping; internodes shallowly grooved above branches, rough and finely ridged, with light wax that defoliates to give a striking grey-white colour, often in irregular patches; nodes not swollen, but the supranodal ridge well-developed. Branches erect, initially 3–7, central and laterals subequal, basal nodes fully compressed, fully sheathed; sheaths and prophylls large, tough, very persistent; buds at mid-culm open at front, prophylls 2-keeled, keels densely brown-pubescent, 2 initials visible within. Culm sheaths tough, usually promptly deciduous; blades deciduous, small, articulating, lanceolate, erect or reflexed. Leaf sheaths persistent; blades thick with prominently tessellate venation. Synflorescence semelauctant, ebracteate, branching open, paniculate, erect to deflexed, pubescent. Spikelets narrow, with several to many florets; glumes basally tight, without subtended buds; lemmas mucronate; paleas not exceeding the lemmas, 2-keeled; stamens 3; style with 2–3 plumose branches. Name from Ba Shan, a mountain in Yunnan, China.
Bashania is a temperate genus of 2 species from W China, rather similar in vegetative characters to Semiarundinaria, and in synflorescence to Indocalamus, but with rougher culms than the former and more branches than the latter. High altitude species sometimes placed in this genus, or referred to as the clade ‘Alpine Bashania’ are placed here in Sarocalamus. They have much less compression of the basal branch internodes, and consequently fewer branches, 1-3 rather than 3-7, and are smaller in stature with smaller, thinner leaves.