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Dendrocalamus giganteus (dhungre bans, rachhasi bans)                                          D30

 

This is the largest bamboo in South Asia, with a maximum dbh of more than 30cm. The tallest culms reach 30m in height. It is similar to the slightly smaller D. sikkimensis. The clumps of both species have horizontal yellow culm sheath blades on the new shoots. It can be distinguished from D. sikkimensis by the absence of bristles on the auricles of the culm sheaths or leaf sheaths. The hairs on the culm sheath are also much fewer, lighter in colour, and are flattened against the sheath. The reflexed culm sheath blades distinguish it from Bambusa balcooa. The leaf sheaths become quite red at the tips, and it has  long  pendulous  flowering  branches.  The  large

 

diameter culms are used as pillars or for making storage containers, and for special uses such as road barriers. However, they are too large for most general purposes and this species is not widely cultivated. The very large leaves are used as animal fodder. This species is found across the plains of West Bengal and Assam, and along the edge of the Bhutanese hills. It is a tropical species from Malaysia, and may not grow well above 1,000m. Propagation of this species is not easy. The large size of the rhizomes makes it difficult to use the traditional technique. Culm cuttings would be successful as the branches are large but there are few branches in the lower part of the culm.

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