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FOC | Family List | FOC Vol. 22 | Poaceae

1. Poaceae Tribe BAMBUSEAE

簕竹族 le zhu zu

Authors: De-Zhu Li, Zheng-ping Wang, Zhenhua Guo, Guangyao Yang & Chris Stapleton

Rhizomes pachymorph (branching sympodial) or leptomorph (branching monopodial). Culms perennial, woody, diffuse (culms solitary), pluricaespitose (culms in a series of clumps connected by rhizomes) or unicaespitose (culms in a single dense clump), self-supporting, scrambling, or rarely climbing; internodes usually hollow, terete, or quadrangular, sometimes flattened or grooved above branch clusters; nodes level or raised at supra-nodal ridge or sheath base, basal nodes often with ring of aerial roots or rarely with hardened root thorns. Culm branches solitary to very many densely fasciculate at nodes, basal branch sheathing often reduced, bud scales variously derived, reduced, or absent. Leaves on most of culm except apex usually deciduous, modified into culm sheaths with a supportive and protective role:sheath thickened, blade much reduced, thickened, generally not photosynthetic; oral setae often well developed, on auricle margins when auricles present. Foliage leaf sheath with interior ligule and a less distinct external ligule, often with well-developed auricles and/or oral setae; blade deflexed, broad, roughly linear-lanceolate, base narrowed into pseudopetiole, articulating and eventually separating from persistent sheath, transverse veinlets often forming distinctly tessellate venation. Inflorescences (more correctlysynflorescences) aggregations of sessile florets in spikelets or pseudospikelets, branching absent to compound, bracteate or ebracteate; spikelets prophyllate or not, glumes often poorly distinguished from basal bracts and lemmas, not subtending viable buds or branches (semelauctant), or in pseudospikelets subtending axillary buds capable of partial or extensive spikelet ramification (iterauctant); lodicules absent to very many, usually 3, usually ciliate, veined, posterior lodicule usually narrower than anterior pair. Stamens usually (2 or)3(or 4) or (5 or)6(or 7), rarely very many. Style short or long; stigmas 1–3. Fruit usually a dry caryopsis, sometimes succulent with a thickened, fleshy pericarp. Several South American genera are morphologically rather more diverse.

About 88 genera and ca. 1400 species: Asia, South America, Pacific Islands, N Australia, Africa, especially Madagascar, Central and North America; 34 genera (five endemic, one introduced) and 534 species (469 endemic, three introduced) in China.

Woody bamboos are found extensively in most of southern, central, and southwestern China and are also found in northern China as far north as Beijing. They have been a significant natural resource throughout China's history, providing food and raw materials for construction and manufacturing. Domestic and exported bamboo products remain important to China's national economy. Cultivation of bamboos of Chinese origin on a commercial scale in other countries is currently restricted to immediately neighboring countries, but is likely to expand. Many Chinese bamboos are of importance in western horticulture, and numerous species with horticultural potential remain poorly known.

The taxonomy of China's bamboos still remains in a largely unrevised state. The majority of the species has been described since 1980, frequently without knowledge of the flowers, due to the often very long flowering cycles (up to 150 years). Generic delimitation has often been highly speculative and remains controversial. The large number of endemic species, along with the susceptibility of their natural forest habitats to destruction or degradation, and their inherent inability to reproduce and disperse, make the group of particular conservation concern. In situ conservation is essential because of the infrequent flowering of bamboos and the short viability of bamboo seeds. There is a pressing need to refine the classification of Chinese bamboos, to ascertain conservation status, and to safeguard threatened species.

Many taxa described as forms are not known in the wild, and they would be more appropriately known as cultivars. They often represent clones with variegated leaves or colored culms, selected for ornamental purposes. These arise spontaneously among the normal population, with a tendency to appear around the time of flowering, and others appear as abnormal seedlings. Such names are largely excluded from this account, and only the more important cultivars are mentioned in comments.

1 Rhizome pachymorph, thicker than culm   (2)
+ Rhizome leptomorph, thinner than culm; culms solitary or pluricaespitose   (20)
2 (1) Higher orders of inflorescence branching with subtending bracts greatly reduced or absent; spikelets pedicellate; stamens 3(–5); subtropical or temperate bamboos 1–12 m tall, leaf venation mostly distinctly tessellate   (3)
+ Inflorescence branches all subtended by large bracts; spikelets sessile; stamens 6; tropical and subtropical bamboos (1–)7–30 m tall; leaf venation not distinctly tessellate   (10)
3 (2) Mid-culm branch 1 per node, about as thick as culms.   19 Gaoligongshania
+ Mid-culm branches 3 to very many per node, much smaller than culms   (4)
4 (3) Inflorescence condensed, racemose   (5)
+ Inflorescence open, paniculate or fasciculate   (6)
5 (4) Buds at culm nodes lanceolate, branches ca. 5, subequal; culm sheath blade erect.   13 Thamnocalamus
+ Buds at culm nodes ovate, branches 10–20, central dominant, culm sheath blade reflexed.   16 Himalayacalamus
6 (4) Lower culm nodes with thorns.   18 Chimonocalamus
+ Lower culm nodes without thorns   (7)
7 (6) Leaf blades with prominently tessellate venation; bamboos of temperate habitats   (8)
+ Leaf blades without prominently tessellate venation; bamboos of subtropical habitats   (9)
8 (7) Rhizomes consistently long necked or both short and long necked, culms solitary or forming a series of small clumps.   12 Yushania
+ Rhizomes consistently short necked, culms always forming a single clump.   14 Fargesia
9 (7) Culms self-supporting, nodal sheath scars without corky collar; spikelets not pendulous; culm sheath adaxially distally scabrid.   15 Drepanostachyum
+ Culms subscandent, nodal sheath scars often with corky collar; spikelets pendulous; culm sheaths adaxially distally glabrous.   17 Ampelocalamus
10 (2) Spikelets 1-flowered; ovary appendage long, stiff, tapering, hollow   (11)
+ Spikelets (1- to) many flowered; ovary with short, solid, apical appendage   (14)
11 (10) Culms unicaespitose, rhizome neck to 50 cm; fruit a small, dry caryopsis, pericarp thin   (12)
+ Culms diffuse; rhizome neck to 3 m; fruit large, pericarp fleshy or crustaceous   (13)
12 (11) Spikelets in loose, spicate clusters; palea not keeled; lodicules absent (to 3); glumes usually absent; rachilla internodes usually disarticulating.   7 Schizostachyum
+ Spikelets in very dense heads; palea keeled; lodicules 3; glumes 2 or 3; rachilla internodes not disarticulating.   8 Cephalostachyum
13 (11) Culms to 2 cm in diam.; fruit globose, less than 2 cm.   9 Pseudostachyum
+ Culms 3–7 cm in diam.; fruit pear-shaped, 5–13 cm.   10 Melocanna
14 (10) Inflorescence a spikelet with basal bracts not subtending buds.   11 Neomicrocalamus
+ Inflorescence a pseudospikelet with basal bracts subtending buds   (15)
15 (14) Mid-culm branches 1 per node, about as thick as culm.   6 Bonia
+ Mid-culm branches several to many per node, much smaller than culms   (16)
16 (15) Caryopsis globose, 10–20 mm, pericarp fleshy.   5 Melocalamus
+ Caryopsis cylindrical, rarely spherical, 3–10 mm, pericarp thin   (17)
17 (16) Palea prominently bifid, cleft to 1/3 of its length.   2 Thyrsostachys
+ Palea undivided or shortly bifid   (18)
18 (17) Inflorescence subtended by a broad, 2-keeled prophyll; rachilla internodes usually distinct and disarticulating.   1 Bambusa
+ Inflorescence subtended by a narrow, 1-keeled prophyll; rachilla internodes usually obscure and not disarticulating   (19)
19 (18) Palea of uppermost or only floret not keeled or slightly 2-keeled; filaments free.   3 Dendrocalamus
+ Palea of all florets 2-keeled; filaments connate.   4 Gigantochloa
20 (1) Inflorescence branches with or without subtending bracts, bracts usually well developed; spikelets sessile   (21)
+ Higher orders of inflorescence branching with subtending bracts greatly reduced or absent; spikelets pedicellate   (26)
21 (20) Stamens 6.   29 Indosasa
+ Stamens 3   (22)
22 (21) Culm strongly flattened above branches   (23)
+ Culm nearly terete or slightly quadrangular, not flattened or grooved above branches   (24)
23 (22) Mid-culm branches 2, unequal, with secondary branching.   34 Phyllostachys
+ Mid-culm branches 4 or 5; subequal, without secondary branching.   33 Shibataea
24 (22) Culm sheath blade very small, less than 1 cm.   32 Chimonobambusa
+ Culm sheath blade large, more than 1 cm   (25)
25 (24) Inflorescence with leafy bracts; spikelets laterally compressed; branches 3–9 per node; buds open.   31 Semiarundinaria
+ Inflorescence with small bracts; spikelets terete; branches consistently 3 per node; buds closed.   30 Sinobambusa
26 (20) Mid-culm branch 1(–3) per node; branch and leaves often very large relative to culm size   (27)
+ Mid-culm branches (1–)3 to several per node; branches and leaves small to medium relative to culm size   (29)
27 (26) Stamens 6, leaf blade margins bleached in winter, terminal blade often at right angle (90°) to shoot.   21 Sasa
+ Stamens 3, leaf blade margins not bleached in winter, terminal blade parallel to shoot   (28)
28 (27) Fruit a small, dry caryopsis, pericarp thin.   28 Indocalamus
+ Fruit large, berrylike, pericarp fleshy.   27 Ferrocalamus
29 (26) Stamens 6.   20 Acidosasa
+ Stamens 3 (Arundinaria s. l.)   (30)
30 (29) Mid-culm branches 7–12 per node, without secondary branching; florets 0.5–1.4 cm   26 Gelidocalamus
+ Mid-culm branches 1–7 per node, with secondary branching; florets (1–)1.5–8(–20) cm   (31)
31 (30) Culm internodes strongly flattened above branches; culm supra-nodal ridge substantially raised.   25 Oligostachyum
+ Culm internodes ± terete; culm supra-nodal ridge not substantially raised   (32)
32 (31) Culm buds always open at front.   22 Arundinaria
+ Culm buds initially closed at front   (33)
33 (32) Culm sheaths late deciduous, mid-culm branches consistently 3 per node.   23 Pseudosasa
+ Culm sheaths very persistent, mid-culm branches 1 to many per node   (34)
34 (33) Mid-culm internodes terete or rarely slightly sulcate above single branches.   23 Pseudosasa
+ Mid-culm internodes slightly grooved above 1–9 branches.   24 Pleioblastus

  • List of lower taxa


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