Identification: ID for Bamboo

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by Junglekeeper, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    I inherited this bamboo many years ago and have not seen it sold anywhere. It reaches approximately 6' in height and perhaps higher if not constrained in a pot. Any help?
     

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  2. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Update:

    After some digging through books at the library and subsequent research on the net, the plant appears to be either Bambusa multiplex var. riviereorum or B. m. 'Tiny Fern', a dwarf form of the former. The maximum height and culm diameter of these plants are 6', 1/4" and 3', 1/8" respectively.

    Even though the culms on my plant reach 6' it is closer to 3' in overall height since they arch back towards the ground. As well the culms are around 1/8". Based on this I conclude the plant is B. m. 'Tiny Fern'. The only thing that doesn't quite match is the length of the leaf blade; according to the few descriptions I found it is supposed to be around 1" compared with my plant's 1-5" length.

    Would you come to the same conclusion? The few pictures that I found were not helpful in positively identifying the plant.
     
  3. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Feels funny replying to my own posts...

    Thanks for [post=8933]trying to id my bamboo[/post], Jim. Don't spend any more time on it. From the pictures I found on the net I'm pretty sure mine is one of the two species I mentioned. However it's not possible to do a positive id due to the lack of reference objects in the images. In any case plants do vary in size and overall appearance depending on their growing conditions. I'm going to settle on B. m. 'Tiny Fern' until some bamboo expert comes along and says otherwise.

    [OT]
    With regards to your comments on the magnolia, my interest was in not so much the magnolias but rather the michelias which are, as you know, close relatives. I was reading the book on the former hoping to get some more insight into propagation and cultivation of the latter when I noticed the [thread=4077]unusual naming convention[/thread].
    [/OT]
     
  4. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Junglekeeper:

    Now you can respond to me about your Bamboo.

    I did not think your Bamboo was B. m. Tiny Fern
    based on the number of leaves at the tips and how
    the leaves are arranged. I was also concerned
    about the length and shape of the leaves also. That
    is why I went looking for other dwarf forms. I
    bought a dwarf variegated form of Sasa years ago
    that is now considered to be a form of Pleioblastus
    instead. Don carried some rare forms of Sasa and
    Pseudosasa which made me think your form was
    either one of them. I do know that there were
    no forms of Bambusa in Don's catalog, so with
    that I had to think that I may have been right that
    your plant is not a Tiny Fern. It was more of a
    deductive guesstimate on my part and what I saw
    for pics of Tiny Fern online that made me feel
    that way.

    I may still try to track it down a little later.

    You've asked some tough questions to answer.
    The Classification of Magnolias has been a
    pain for some of us for a long while. In all
    fairness a species form of Macrophylla should
    be somewhat different than a Macrophylla var.
    macrophylla is in some visible way. The question
    is, who all have seen the differences to know
    which one is which? I may have seen them both
    and not known it or they are the same. Perhaps
    in time we will know. To be honest I learned
    Magnolia ashei to be its own form and not a
    Macrophylla var. ashei. Same thing with Magnolia
    dealbata and Macrophylla var. dealbata. Look at
    Tripetala sometime and those forms that we had
    I did learn as being Macrophylla var. tripetala
    and Magnolia tripetala. The Macrophylla form is
    vastly different than the species form of Tripetala
    is that I've seen.

    Now you can appreciate the problem I had when
    I thought of Michelia champaca 'Alba' as opposed
    to Michelia alba. Are they the same plant or are
    they different plants? I do not know that answer.
    I've grown one form but not the other so I may
    try to grow Alba sometime hoping to be able
    to answer my own question that I have, maybe!

    Best regards,

    Jim
     
  5. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Junglekeeper:

    Just a quick note:

    Your Bamboo might be Tiny Fern and it may
    not be. I have some doubt about it being Tiny
    Fern at the moment. I think you also have some
    doubts otherwise you would not have posted
    this question up for discussion. I am not into
    arguing about a plant but I do welcome these
    kinds of discussions. I do not have to be right
    about my assessment as I am learning a few
    things about Bamboo as I go along trying to
    better ascertain what your plant is. At this
    time I am not totally sure what your Bamboo
    is as I now have to backtrack and see if the
    people whose web sites I frequent for Bamboo
    have the right plants that they are trying to
    sell. Are their plants properly named is what
    I have to determine next and that is the toughest
    part and the most time consuming element to
    figure out. By description I thought for a while
    that I had found your Bamboo as being a form
    of Sasa but I had no images to look at. It is
    there where I stopped to take a break from this
    puzzle.

    Jim
     
  6. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Hi, Jim. I appreciate the effort you're putting into this. After further research, species in the three genera you suggested, Sasa, Pseudosasa, and Pleioblastus, can be eliminated as possibilities since they are running bamboos and my specimen is a clumper. I should have included more information with my original posting.

    Here are some images I found upon which I based my decision. This, along with the help of detailed descriptions in printed material, convinced me the plant is one of the two species. Of the two I picked 'Tiny Fern' based on the overall height of that plant and in particular the diameter of its culm.

    Too bad there isn't an interactive 'bamboo finder' page at the American Bamboo Society site to help an amateur like me to identify a specimen. [Anyone at ABS reading this? Hint! Hint!]
     

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  7. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Hi Junglekeeper:

    There are some Sasa, Pseudosasa and Pleioblastus
    that are clumpers. The old forms (more than one)
    of Sasa pygmaea, as an example, are clumpers. My
    variegated form which is now considered to be a
    Pleioblastus is a clumper.

    It may take an ABS member to help put this one to
    rest.

    Best regards,

    Jim
     

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