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Fargesia nitida

culm sheath apex delicate and narrow culm sheath persistent and red-ribbed leaf sheath initially pilose near glabrous margins
branch complement dense one-sided racemes
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See description in Kew's GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora
See description in Kew's GrassBase - The Online World Grass Flora

Fountain Bamboo

Fargesia nitida (Mitford) Keng f. ex T.P. Yi, J. Bamboo Res. 4(2): 30. 1985. 

 Synonyms: Arundinaria nitida Mitford, Bull. Misc. Inform. Kew 1896: 20. 1896; Sinarundinaria nitida (Mitford) Nakai; Thamnocalamus nitidus (Mitford) Demoly. Fargesia demissa T. P. Yi

  Missouri Botanical Garden's Tropicos Database of Names  TROPICOS

    International Plant Names Index   IPNI

   Multilingual Multiscript Plant Names Database  MMPND

 Electronic Plant Identification CentreElectronic Plant Identification Centre  KEW

Rhizome neck 10–18 cm. Culms 2–4 m, 1–2 cm in diam., erect to pendulous, in dense clumps; internodes 11–20 cm, becoming red to dark purple where exposed, with thin to thick flaky wax initially, glabrous, very finely ridged, wall 2–3 mm thick; nodes with weakly prominent supra-nodal ridge, sheath scar prominent; branches 8–15, deflexed, mainly developing in 2nd yr., branchlets quickly becoming deep purple-red. Culm sheaths persistent, triangular-elliptic, apex triangular, distally delicate, shorter than internodes, densely to sparsely white-grey hairy initially, longitudinal ribs prominent and orange to red-brown, margins glabrous; auricles and oral setae absent; ligule ca. 1 mm, arcuate, purple, densely ciliolate; blade triangular or linear-lanceolate, erect or reflexed. Leaves 2–3 per ultimate branch; sheath narrow, mostly glabrous but initially long-pilose near overlapping edge, with spots and red-purple colouration, margins without cilia; auricles absent; oral setae sparse, 1-5 initially, 1-3 mm, weak, erect; ligule truncate to arcuate, ca. 1 mm, velutinous; external ligule indistinct, extremely shortly ciliate; blade linear-lanceolate, 3.8–7.5 0.6–1 cm, thin, dull pale matt green, often discoloured, basally cuneate, apically acute, both surfaces glabrous, secondary veins 3–4-paired, one margin spinescent-serrulate, transverse veins distinct. Racemes one-sided, partially enclosed by usually purple spathes with glabrous or ciliate margins, with 1–3 reduced bracts subtending spikelets; spikelets 1.1–2.5 cm, rachilla 1.5–3 mm; fertile florets 1–2(–3). Lemma distally slightly scabrous, often dark purple. Palea apically shortly bifid, 0–1 mm longer than lemma, keels serrulate. Anthers with biapiculate tips. Ovary ovate, glabrous; style 1; stigmas 3, plumose. Caryopsis ovate, yellow to dark-brown, glabrous, ventrally slightly sulcate. Shoots Apr–Aug.

An important source of food for the giant panda, widely distributed in Gansu, S Ningxia, E Qinghai, and W Sichuan, from 1900–3200 m. One of the most commonly planted bamboos, flowering from 1993 to 2010 in cultivation. Distinguished by thin leaves, 2nd year branch growth, and purple colour of branches, often with red-purple culms as well. Many named cultivars differ in height, habit, colour, and waxiness of the culms. Cultivars from Jiuzhaigou are substantially different, having more deciduous culm sheaths lacking orange-brown ribs, revealing varied colours on the culms, and broader leaf blades. Study of variation is required to revise the nomenclature of this and closely related taxa.

Being the type species of Sinarundinaria Nakai, the close similarities between this and F. spathacea, the type species of Fargesia, demonstrate that Sinarundinaria is only a synonym of Fargesia.

Source in Google Earth F. nitida was first introduced to the west as seed from the border of N Sichuan and S Gansu in 1886 by a team of Russian botanists including Berezowski and Potanin. Many other introductions from several areas have been made since then, especially most recently from the Jiuzhaigou National Park.

[apicirubens] [denudata] [dracocephala] [murielae] [nitida] [robusta]