Bamboo IdentificationHome

powered by FreeFind

Download for reading PDF documents
Get Google Earth

Himalayacalamus hookerianus

long narrow glabrous culm sheath apex glabrous culm sheath margins, base and node leaf sheath glabrous
branches - front branches - side ridged internodes new culm colour winter colour in Devon 2nd yr culm older culms
no tessellation of leaf veins elegant foliage
winter colour in E Nepal
See type specimen in Kew Herbarium
search Google for images
see photos at BambooWeb

  Type Specimen Image

  (Herbarium Catalogue)

see origin in Google Earth
Himalayacalamus account in Flora of China
see listing in ABS Species & Sources List
find UK supplier
See description in Kew's GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
See description in Kew's GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
See page in Bamboos of Nepal
See paper on Himalayacalamus hookerianus in New Plantsman

Himalayan Blue Bamboo

Himalayacalamus hookerianus (Munro) Stapleton, Bamboo Soc. Newsl. 17: 21 (1993)

 Synonyms: Arundinaria hookeriana Munro, Trans. Linn. Soc. London 26(1): 29. 1868; Sinarundinaria hookeriana (Munro) C. S. Chao & Renvoize; Chimonobambusa hookeriana (Munro) Nakai; Drepanostachyum hookerianum (Munro) Keng f.

  Missouri Botanical Garden's Tropicos Database of Names  TROPICOS

    International Plant Names Index   IPNI

   Multilingual Multiscript Plant Names Database  MMPND


Rhizome neck 8–20 cm. Culms to 6(–10) m, 0.5–3 cm in diam., densely clumped, erect to drooping; internodes to 15–25 cm, finely ridged, with light to dense glaucous wax at first, uniformly blue-green with red-purple bands at node, becoming intense lilac-purple after light cold if wax remains, then glossy dark green to luminous translucent yellow and then orange to red-brown; wall 3–6 mm thick; nodes slightly raised, sheath scar broad, white; branches 8–25, central dominant. Culm sheaths glabrous, much longer than internodes, distally long-acuminate and apically very narrow, margins only distally ciliate, blade narrow, reflexed, quickly deciduous; auricles and oral setae absent; ligule narrow, long, to 2 cm, entire, glabrous. Leaves 3–10 per ultimate branch; sheaths glabrous; auricles and oral setae absent; ligule rounded, to 2 mm long, tomentose; blade narrow, glabrous. Spikelets 1–(2); pedicels to 20 mm; lemma pubescent, prominently mucronate, margins distally long-ciliate; palea pubescent, keels scabrous.

Named hookerianus in honour of Sir J. D. Hooker, who first collected the species in 1848, writing about it in his journal.

 This elegant and striking bamboo, found from E Nepal to W Bhutan, differs from other species of Himalayacalamus in its long-attenuate culm sheath apex with finely ridged culm internodes. The glaucous culm wax is persistent in protected sites, and in combination with the red tinges added to the internodes during the cool but just frost-free winters in its natural Himalayan environment, a dramatic and unique intensely blue-purple colour can appear for a while, although this colour can be difficult to reproduce in cultivation. The elegance of the foliage with narrow pendulous leaves makes it still worth cultivating in areas with light frosts, even if the dramatic culm colours are not so evident.

Stapleton, C.M.A. (1994). The blue-stemmed bamboo: Himalayacalamus hookerianus. The New Plantsman 1(1): 1-9. PDF (Draft)

Stapleton, C.M.A. (1994). The bamboos of Nepal and Bhutan Part III: Drepanostachyum, Himalayacalamus, Ampelocalamus, Neomicrocalamus, and Chimonobambusa (Gramineae: Poaceae, Bambusoideae). Edinb. J. Bot. 51(3): 301-330. PDF

see origin in Google Earth Himalayacalamus hookerianus was introduced into the UK in the 19th century from Sikkim in the E Himalayas, where it is cultivated and harvested, notably for weaving large mats used for roofing. First described from a flowering collection called Praong probably made near Ravangla, above Yangang (Neongong), and leaves from Yuksom, where it can still be seen.

[asper] [cupreus] [hookerianus] [planatus] [porcatus]