Dendrocalamus pendulus

Dendrocalamus pendulus Ridley

Journ. Straits Settlem. Roy. Asiat. Soc. 44: 210 (1905).
2n = unknown

Origin and geographic distribution
D. pendulus is native to Peninsular Malaysia where it is very common in the foothills of the Main Range. For map click: Map308.TIF. Occasionally it is grown in botanical gardens (e.g. in Singapore).

The culms are used for making baskets and handicrafts.

Production and international trade
In Peninsular Malaysia production and consumption of culms of D. pendulus is considerable, reaching 20% of the total annual bamboo culm consumption by the local industry.

Closely tufted, sympodial bamboo. Culm 10-30 m tall, diameter 6-12 cm, wall 5-11 mm thick, arching over with pendulous tip, smooth and dark green when old; internodes about 40 cm long, with white wax below nodes and pale brown hairs; nodes somewhat prominent. Branches slender, central ones very long, pendulous. Culm sheath 16-25 cm x 20-30 cm, narrowing towards the apex, rigid except edges at the top, green tinged with pink at the top, covered with thick white wax and felted white easily deciduous hairs on the back; blade broadly lanceolate, 7-12 cm x 2.5-3 cm, erect or deflexed, glabrous or with scattered hairs adaxially; ligule 3-4 mm long, irregularly toothed; auricles about 15 mm long in lateral extent, bearing long bristles of 15-20 mm along the edges. Young shoot pinkish green, with white wax and white hairs. Leaf blade 15-25 cm x 1.5-2.5 cm, usually glabrous; sheath glabrous, often covered with white wax when young; ligule very short; auricles small. Inflorescence terminating a leafy or a leafless branch, consisting of pseudospikelets in dense heads at each node; spikelet about 10 mm long, consisting of several glumes and one (rarely 2) perfect floret. Caryopsis not known.
In Peninsular Malaysia, D. pendulus is very abundant and of quite uniform character. A mature clump bears 30-40 culms.

D. pendulus is found on hillsides and in forest margins of secondary forest at 400-1000 m altitude. It seems to appear spontaneously in places where forest is disturbed or new roads are built.

In Peninsular Malaysia culms are harvested from wild populations. It is not known, however, when and how they are harvested. Culms are cut into certain lengths and transported to markets or other places where they are utilized for making baskets, e.g. to transport vegetables.
D. pendulus may suffer from leaf spot diseases, caused by Colletotrichum and Nigrospora species.

Genetic resources and breeding
There are no germplasm collections or breeding programmes.

D. pendulus provides local communities and industries with culms readily available from wild populations. The prospects are very good, but more investigations on various aspects (e.g. management of natural stands, properties, cultivation methods) are needed.

S. Dransfield

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