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helicon  Common genera: quick recognition by photos


 Growth habit







  search Google for Phyllostachys images



Spreading with spaced upright culms

2 (-3) asymmetrical  branches of different sizes

Flowers with many bracts





  search Google for Bambusa images


Clumping, often large

Even branching with 3 main branches

Auricles (ears) may be large




  search Google for Pseudosasa images

Dense upright clumps

1  large or 3 erect branches

Smooth culms




  search Google for Fargesia images

Tight clumps

7 or more similar branches on smooth culms

Small dense inflorescences




  search Google for Sasa images

Spreading and dense

Large single branches

Winter leaf edge death




  search Google for Pleioblastus images

Spreading, often small with striped leaves

Single branches

Persistent sheaths rot on culm




  search Google for Semiarundinaria images

Spreading and in tight clumps, erect

3 or more branches

Very smooth culms




  search Google for Indocalamus images

Large leaves

Long single branches

Thick soft scurf below nodes




  search Google for Gigantochloa images

Large culms, often striped, no low branches

Large central branch, big leaves

First spikelets large




  search Google for Himalayacalamus images

Tight clumps with coloured nodes

Central branch larger

Early branching through the sheath




  search Google for Chimonobambusa images

Spreading with spaced culms

3 similar branches

Nodes swollen or thorny




  search Google for Shibataea images

Small slowly spreading domes

4 similar branches

Single leaves




  search Google for Yushania images

Spreading and dense

Many tight branches

Culms often scabrous below nodes




  search Google for Dendrocalamus images

Dense clumps of very large furry culms

Basal dormant central branch, aerial roots

Spherical inflorescences




  search Google for Borinda images

Clumping blue-grey culms

Culms with fine vertical lines

A deciduous species in winter




  search Google for Drepanostachyum images

Dense narrow culms

Culm sheath interior hairy at top

Many small branches, and falcate flowers

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