Plants shrub-like, densely clumping; rhizomes pachymorph, necks to 25 cm. Culms to 12 m tall, to 4 cm in diam., nodding to pendulous; nodes not raised; internodes terete, glabrous, smooth or finely ridged. Branches at mid-culm 7-12 at first, to 25 later, subequal with central dominant, without promontory, deflexed, often extravaginal; buds broadly ovate, with 2 tall, single-keeled bracts, open at front and back, branch sheathing reduced, several branch initials visible. Culm sheaths deciduous, papery, usually apically rounded, adaxially smooth; blade subulate, reflexed to erect. Leaf sheaths deciduous; blade small-sized, transverse veinlets inconspicuous. Synflorescence ebracteate, semelauctant, branching racemose, compact with short pedicels or clustered at nodes. Spikelets 1(-2)-flowered, followed by a rudimentary floret, pedicel short. Glumes 2, delicate, not persistent. Lemma acuminate, many-veined. Palea equal to or shorter than lemma, 2-keeled, obtuse. Lodicules 3, transparent. Stamens 3; anthers yellow, filaments free, long-exserted. Ovary appendage absent. Style 1; Stigmas 2, plumose. Caryopsis broad, grain-like. Shooting summer-early autumn.
Himalayacalamus is a genus of about 10 species found along the Himalayas from Uttaranchal in NW India through Nepal & Bhutan to Arunachal Pradesh and SE Tibet. Closely related to Drepanostachyum, with which it shares delicate glumes and extravaginal branching, but distinguished by the smooth rather than scabrous culm sheath interior, preponderance of single-flowered spikelets, in tight racemes rather than open panicles, greater stature, and fewer branches with the central branch dominant.
Stapleton, C.M.A. (1994) The blue-stemmed bamboo: Himalayacalamus hookerianus. New Plantsman 1(1) 5-9.
Stapleton, C.M.A. (1994) The bamboos of Nepal and Bhutan Part III: Drepanostachyum, Himalayacalamus, Ampelocalamus, Neomicrocalamus, and Chimonobambusa (Gramineae: Poaceae, Bambusoideae). Edinburgh J. Bot. 51(3): 301-330.