Schizostachyum iraten

Schizostachyum iraten Steudel

Syn. pl. glumac. 1: 332 (1854).
2n = unknown

Origin and geographic distribution
S. iraten is native in Java, Sumatra and Bali. For map click: Map405.TIF. Occasionally it has been introduced or planted elsewhere, e.g. in Bukit Lagong, FRIM Arboretum, Kepong, Peninsular Malaysia.

Culms of S. iraten are used for fishing rods and to make blowpipes and flutes.

Production and international trade
Production and trade of S. iraten products are mainly local. No statistics are available.

Densely tufted, sympodial bamboo. Culm erect with drooping tip, 6-10 m long, 2-5 cm in diameter, wall 3-7 mm thick; internodes of the midculm 70-120 cm long, whitish green and covered with short appressed pale hairs when young, becoming pale to light green with a conspicuous whitish ring below the nodes; nodes prominently swollen. Branches arising from midculm nodes upward, slender, usually subequal. Culm sheath 20-28 cm x 9-17 cm, truncate, persistent, subrigid, lemon-green often tinged with light pink, becoming stramineous, bearing pale brown hairs and with many prominent veins; blade narrowly lanceolate, tapering to a long tip, 11-30 cm x 10-15 mm, erect first, later reflexed or spreading, light green, deciduous, glabrous but hairy adaxially especially near the base; ligule 3 mm long, serrate; auricles short, about 7 mm long, with bristles. Young shoots pale green. Leaf blade lanceolate or linear-lanceolate, 15-45 cm x 1.5-9 cm, usually glabrous; sheath glabrous; ligule very short; auricles short with long bristles. Inflorescences usually terminating leafy branches, 10-26 cm long, with clusters of pseudospikelets at the nodes 1-3 cm apart; spikelet cylindrical, 1.7-2.5 cm long, slender, glabrous, consisting of 1-2 perfect florets and a rachilla extension bearing a rudimentary floret. Caryopsis not known.

Growth and development
A 3-year-old clump of S. iraten in East Java contained 40 culms, however, a mature clump may contain up to 100 culms. A mature clump in the botanical garden in Bogor produces young shoots and flowers all the year round.

Other botanical information
Pseudospikelets fall off as soon as they reach maturity, therefore mature fruits have rarely been found. In Peninsular Malaysia, S. iraten has never been found flowering.
S. iraten is closely related to S. lima (Blanco) Merrill (from the Philippines to New Guinea) and S. jaculans Holttum (Peninsular Malaysia).

In Java, S. iraten can be found in scrub vegetation, disturbed forest, village groves, and secondary hill forest, up to 600 m altitude. It nearly always occurs as scattered specimens, but is sometimes rather common (e.g. at the foot of mount Salak in West Java).

S. iraten is also cultivated in Java, although rarely, but no agronomic information is available. There are no reports of diseases and pests.

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

The future of S. iraten is in danger. In Java, its occurrence in the wild is threatened with extinction and germplasm collection is urgently needed.

S. Dransfield

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