Bambusa oldhamii, known as giant timber bamboo or Oldham's bamboo, is a large species of bamboo. It is the most common and widely grown in the United States and has been introduced into cultivation around the world. It is densely foliated, growing up to 20 m (65 feet) tall in good conditions and can have a diameter of up to 10 cm (4 inches).
Bambusa oldhamii grows to 17–20 metres (65 feet) in height, with green culms reaching a maximum of 10 cm (4 in) in diameter. Shoots grow rapidly in warmer months. The branches are short and leaves long.
It was first described by Munro in 1868, the type specimen collected in Taiwan by Oldham (after whom the species was named). It is grouped in the subgenus Dendrocalamopsis. Dendrocalamus latiflorus is a misapplied name, under which it has been sold in the United States. It has also been confused with the related species B. atrovirens of Zhejiang in mainland China. Common names include Oldham Bamboo, Giant Timber bamboo, and Ryoku-chiku in Japan.
Distribution and habitat
Bambusa oldhamii is native to the island of Taiwan and to southern China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Hainan, Zhejiang). It has is widely cultivated and has become naturalized in several places (Ryukyu Islands, New Zealand, Chiapas, Honduras, Peru, etc.)
It has been introduced into cultivation around the world; it is grown under glass in Germany, and in Puerto Rico, Florida and California in the US, where it is the most common clumping bamboo grown, as well as Australia. The young shoots are consumed in Taiwan. The culms are used for furniture making but are not suited to construction. The maximum height in cultivation varies with the temperature, ranging from 20 m (65 feet) in tropical areas, to 17 m (55 feet) in the United States, and shorter the further from the equator it is grown. It tolerates temperatures down to -7 °C (20 °F).
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