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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae | Phyllostachys

30. Phyllostachys nigra (Loddiges ex Lindley) Munro, Trans. Linn. Soc. London. 26: 38. 1868.

紫竹 zi zhu

Culms 4–8(–10) m, to 5 cm or more in diam.; internodes green or gradually developing purple-brown to black spots or turning uniform purple-brown or black, 25–30 cm, initially white powdery, densely puberulent; wall ca. 3 mm thick; nodal ridge slightly more prominent than or equaling sheath scar; sheath scar initially brown hairy on margin. Culm sheaths red-brown, sometimes tinged with green, unmarked or densely extremely minutely and imperceptibly dark brown spotted, spots aggregating into a distal dark brown patch, thinly white powdery, brown strigose; auricles and oral setae well developed, purple-black; ligule purple, arcuate to acutely so, long ciliate; blade erect or gradually deflexed, green or tinged with purple on both sides, triangular to triangular-lanceolate, navicular, ± wavy. Leaves 2 or 3 per ultimate branch; auricles weak or absent; oral setae deciduous; ligule slightly exserted; blade thin, 7–10 × ca. 1.2 cm. Flowering branchlets shortly spicate, 3.5–5 cm, scaly bracts 4–8. Spathes 4–6, glabrous or puberulous; auricles absent; oral setae few or absent; blade usually subulate or ovate-lanceolate, small. Pseudospikelets 1–3 per spathe. Spikelets lanceolate, 1.5–2 cm; florets 2 or 3. Glumes (absent or)1–3, abaxially ± distally pubescent; rachilla pubescent; lemma 1.2–1.5 cm, densely pubescent; palea shorter than lemma. Anthers ca. 8 mm. Stigmas 3. New shoots late Apr, fl. May.

* Open forests on slopes and in valleys; 1100–1200 m. S Hunan, widely cultivated elsewhere in China [introduced in many other countries].

This species has a very extensive synonymy, as is often the case with such popular garden plants. At the time of writing, W. D. Clayton lists a total of 79 synonyms in his grass synonymy database.

1 Culms initially green, becoming purple-brown or brown-black in age.   30a var. nigra
+ Culms remaining consistently green.   30b var. henonis


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