The Bamboo Lexicon
Habitat: Densely tufted, sympodial bamboo. Culm erect with pendulous tip, 8-16 m tall, 7-10 cm in diameter, wall 3-5 mm thick, green, bluish-green; internodes 30-58 cm long, smooth, usually covered with scattered white hairs when young, becoming glabrous; nodes not swollen, without root primordial. Branches arising from the midculm nodes upward, at each node with a tuft of 25-30 slender subequal branches. Culm sheath rigid, 12-27 cm x 18-35 cm, long persistent, covered with light-brown tobrown hairs, junction of top of sheath with blade horizontal; blade triangular with stiff acuminate apex, 4-18 cm x 4 10 cm, erect, rigid, usually glabrous, many nerved; ligule 3 mm long, entire; auricles small, 10 mm long and 2.5 mm tall, bearing crisped bristles 4-5 mm long. Young shoots with rigid culm sheaths and hard broad blades, covered with light brown to brown hairs.
Leaves Fronds: Leaf blade lanceolate, 26-32 cm x 3.5-6 cm, hairy below, glabrous above; ligule short, entire; auricles very small, with long bristles.
Flowers: Inflorescences 16-30 cm long, consisting of dense tufts of pseudospikelets 1-3 cm apart at the nodes on the rigid distal part of a leafy branchlet; spikelet15-25 mm long, comprising 1-2 perfect florets and a rachilla extension bearing a rudimentary floret.
Fruits and Seets: Caryonopsis not known.
Distribtion: S. brachycladum is widespread in South-East Asia, occurring in Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, Sulawesi, the Moluccas, Bali and Luzon, growing wild, cultivated or naturalized.
Uses: The culms of S. brachycladum are widely used, e.g. for roofs (split lengthwise as for the Toraja rice barn and traditional house in Sulawesi), water containers, handicrafts, banana props and as container for cooking glutinous rice ('lemang'). Native people in Sarawak usually use S. brachycladum culms for many purposes and if it is not available it is substituted by other thin-walled bamboos; the internodes are used for making water pipes to smoke tobacco; decorated with a pattern carved in low relief ('serobok'), also for various carved containers, for instance, the one used for holy wine served during the Gawai festival ('Garong basket'). Formerly, women in North Sulawesi made clothes from the fibres, after chewing and washing the soft inner part of the culms to extract the fibres. In Bali and Toraja (Sulawesi) the culms are used durinbg burial ceremonies. Young shoots are edible, but rather bitter. The forms with yellow culm are often cultivated as ornamentals. In Sabah this bamboo is also planted on hill slopes to prevent landslides
A Lemang Bamboo Bush.
The Size, Length Between The Nodes and Straightness.
Lemang Bamboo are easily recognizable because of these three particular properties and saying in general, these three are how most bamboo species can be distinguished from each other. In fact, most of the uses we can extract from most species of bamboo are also from these three properties.
The Culm Color
Color is usually matte (not glossy) dark green with white powdery miang (see below). But its not unusual to see any bamboo culm with greyish green color and covered with white spots (see above pic). That grey color and white spots indicates a type of fungal infection. Please avoid taking the infected culm for cooking purposed. Though there are no harmful effects reported, it is not exactly a good, safe bushcraft practice.
The "Miang" (as in mee~young)
Miang is a Malay word for a substance that gives you an itchy feeling and sometimes even an allergic skin reaction. It shares some characteristics like a Stinging Nettle's needles but I am reluctant to describe it as needle as miang is not that severe. I use the Malay term for this because I can't seem to find a suitable word for it in English. With very few exception, most bamboo species growing in Malaysia have miang. But on Lemang Bamboo, there are two types of miangs and this can be used as a distinguishable feature.
The Culm Sheath
© Das Bambus-Lexikon wurde als frei zugängliche Datenbank nach einer Idee von Fred Vaupel 2005 erstellt und erarbeitet.
Bilder und Texte dürfen nur für den privaten Gebrauch verwendet werden.