font settings and languages

Font Size: Large | Normal | Small
Font Face: Verdana | Geneva | Georgia

Bambusa vulgaris

(Buddhas Belly Bamboo)


[ Back to top ]

A Pantropical bamboo , of unknown origin . It can grow 4cm a day, to 20 m. One cutting yields 10 new stems and 50 shoots in 3 years. It is widely used for construction and water pipes, musical instruments and weapons, baskets and bird-scarers; shoots are edible and can be eaten fresh, cooked, dried or pickled, and are rich in Vitamin A. A useful plant for erosion control and construction. Leaves are used to relieve fevers and in Grenada are given to dogs and donkeys to increase ferocity and sex drive; in the a similar tea is said to have the same effect bu to reduce blood sugar (Politi, 1996).

Common Names

[ Back to top ]

Click on the language to view common names.

Common Names in Arabic:


Common Names in Bengali:

Baansh, Bakal, Basini Bans

Common Names in Chinese:

Long Tou Zhu, Long Tou Zhu (Hong Kong), Tai Shan Zhu (Hong Kong), Tai Shan Zhu (Taiwan), Yin Zhu, Yin Zhu (Hong Kong)

Common Names in English:

Buddhas Belly Bamboo, Bambusa vulgarisGolden Bamboo, Common Bamboo, Dragon-Head Bamboo, Feathery Bamboo, Golden Bamboo, Green-Culmed Bamboo, Surinam Bamboo, Surinam Dwarf Bamboo, Unarmed Bamboo

Common Names in Finnish:


Common Names in French:

Bambou Commun, Bambou Ordinaire, Grand Bambou

Common Names in German:

Gemeiner Bambus

Common Names in Japanese:

Dai-San-Chiku, Daisan-Chiku

Common Names in Malay:

Aur Beting, Bambu Ampel (Indonesia), Buloh Aao Beting, Buloh Aur, Buloh Minyak, Buloh Minyak Aao, Buloh Pau, Buluh gading

Common Names in Marathi:


Common Names in Nepalese:

Bansii Baans (Bansi Bans), Taamaa Baans (Tama Bans)

Common Names in Portuguese:


Common Names in Spanish:

Bambú Común, Bambú, Caña Brava

Common Names in Tagalog:

Kawayan Kiling

Common Names in Tamil:


Common Names in Telugu:


Common Names in Thai:

Mai Luang, Phai Luang

Common Names in Tonga (Tonga Islands):


Common Names in Turkish:



[ Back to top ]

Family Poaceae

Annual or perennial herbs, or tall woody bamboos . Flowering stems (culms ) jointed , internodes hollow or solid; branches arising singly from nodes and subtended by a leaf sheath and 2-keeled prophyll, often fascicled in bamboos. Leaves arranged alternately in 2 ranks , differentiated into sheath, blade , and an adaxial erect appendage at sheath/blade junction (ligule) ; leaf sheath surrounding and supporting culm-internode, split to base or infrequently tubular with partially or completely fused margins , modified with reduced blade in bamboos (culm sheaths) ; leaf blades divergent, usually long, narrow and flat, but varying from inrolled and filiform to ovate , veins parallel, sometimes with cross-connecting veinlets (especially in bamboos) ; ligule membranous or a line of hairs . Inflorescence terminal or axillary , an open, contracted , or spikelike panicle, or composed of lax to spikelike racemes arranged along an elongate central axis, or digitate, paired , or occasionally solitary; axillary inflorescences often many, subtended by spatheoles (specialized bladeless leaf sheaths) and gathered into a leafy compound panicle; spikelets often aggregated into complex clusters in bamboos. Spikelets composed of distichous bracts arranged along a slender axis (rachilla) ; typically 2 lowest bracts (glumes ) empty, subtending 1 to many florets ; glumes often poorly differentiated from accompanying bracts in bamboos. Florets composed of 2 opposing bracts enclosing a single small flower, outer bract (lemma) clasping the more delicate, usually 2-keeled inner bract (palea) ; base of floret often with thickened prolongation articulated with rachilla (callus) ; lemma often with apical or dorsal bristle (awn ), glumes also sometimes awned . Flowers bisexual or unisexual ; lodicules (small scales representing perianth) 2, rarely 3 or absent, 3 to many in bamboos, hyaline or fleshy ; stamens 3 rarely 1, 2, 6, or more in some bamboos, hypogynous, filaments capillary , anthers versatile; ovary 1-celled, styles (1 or) 2(rarely 3), free or united at base, topped by feathery stigmas, exserted from sides or apex of floret. Fruit normally a dry indehiscent caryopsis with thin pericarp firmly adherent to seed, pericarp rarely free, fleshy in some bamboos; embryo small or large; hilum punctate to linear .

About 700 genera and 11,000 species: widely distributed in all regions of the world.[1]

Genus Bambusa

Arborescent bamboos , occasionally shrubby or scrambling, 1-20 m. Rhizomes short necked, pachymorph. Culms unicaespitose, erect to pendulous, rarely subscandent; internodes terete ; nodes not raised. Branches several to many, often 1-3 dominant (subequal in Bambusa subg. Lingnania), branchlets of lower branches sometimes forming tough or weak thorns . Culm sheaths deciduous, rarely persistent ; auricles usually conspicuous , always with marginal oral setae; blade usually erect. Leaf blade variable in size, transverse veins inconspicuous. Inflorescence iterauctant, fully bracteate , subtended by a broad 2-keeled prophyll; pseudospikelets rarely solitary, usually several to many clustered to capitate on flowering branches. Pseudospikelets prophyllate ; florets 2 to many, terminal floret sterile or imperfect, sessile; fertile glumes preceded by 1 or more gemmiferous , glumaceous , or spathaceous bracts and/or 1-3 empty glumes; rachilla internodes usually distinct and usually disarticulating with florets, falling separately; lemma broad, many veined; palea 2-keeled, apex acute or shortly bifid; lodicules 3 or 2. Stamens 6; filaments free . Ovary usually stalked , apex thickened and hairy ; style solid, usually short; stigmas (1-) 3, long, hairy, plumose . Caryopsis terete, apex hairy; pericarp slightly thickened.

More than 100 species: tropical and subtropical Asia; pantropical in cultivation; 80 species (67 endemic) in China, mainly in the south and southwest.

Most species in this genus are very useful cultivated plants , with no known or only limited wild populations . Bambusa lapidea, B . pervariabilis, B. rigida, B. sinospinosa, and B. tuldoides are used for building construction and scaffolding; B. albolineata, B. lenta, and B. textilis are split for woven bamboo goods; the shoots of B. gibboides and B. variostriata are edible; B. multiplex, B. ventricosa, and B. vulgaris are very famous ornamental bamboos.[2]

Physical Description

Species Bambusa vulgaris

Clumps rather open. Culms 8-15 m , 5-9 cm in diam., basally straight or flexuose, apically drooping ; internodes deep green, 20-30 cm, initially thinly white powdery, stiffly pale brown strigose ; wall slightly thick; nodes slightly prominent , basal several with aerial roots and rings of grayish white silky hairs below and above sheath scar ; usually branching from lower nodes. Branches several to many, clustered, central dominant. Culm sheaths deciduous, ribbed-striate when dry, densely stiffly deciduously dark brown hairy , apex arched below blade , concave below auricles ; auricles conspicuous , ascending , nearly equal in shape and size, oblong or reniform , 8-10 mm; oral setae curved , fine; ligule 3-4 mm, serrate, very shortly white ciliolate ; blade deciduous, erect or deflexed , broadly triangular to triangular, base slightly rounded , ca. 1/2 width of sheath apex, abaxially sparsely stiffly dull brown hairy, adaxially densely stiffly dull brown hairy between veins, apex involute , sharply apiculate . Leaf blade narrowly lanceolate, 10-30 × 1.3-2.5 cm, both surfaces glabrous . Pseudospikelets several, clustered at nodes, narrowly lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, slightly flattened, 2-3.5 × 0.4-0.5 mm, apparently bifid; gemmiferous bracts several; florets 5-10; rachilla segments 1.5-3 mm. Glumes 1 or 2, abaxially shortly hairy near apex, apex apiculate; lemma 8-10 mm, abaxially shortly hairy near apex, apex apiculate; palea slightly shorter than lemma, keels ciliolate; lodicules 3, 2-2.5 mm, margins long ciliate . Anthers ca. 6 mm, apex penicillate . Style 3-7 mm, slender; stigmas 3, short. [source]

Two cultivars, Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata' (黄金间碧竹 huang jin jian bi zhu), with culm internodes yellow with green stripes , and B . vulgaris 'Wamin' (大佛肚竹 da fo du zhu), with culm internodes shortened and basally swollen, are widely cultivated in gardens and parks. Although they have been given varietal or even specific status elsewhere, they are recognized as cultivars here. [source]

This species was incorrectly named by Aiton as Bambusa arundi-nacea Willdenow. [source]

Habit: Evergreen . • Growth Form: BunchShape and Orientation: Erect

Flowers: Bloom Period: IndeterminateFlower Color: Brown • Flower Conspicuous: No

Seeds: Seed Spread Rate: Slow • Fruit/Seed Abundance: Low • Fruit/Seed Conspicuous: No • Cold Stratification Required: No

Foliage: Foliage Color: Green • Foliage Texture: Fine • Fall Conspicuous: No • Leaf Retention: Yes


Active Growth Period: Year RoundGrowth Rate: Rapid • Mature Height (feet): 50.0 • Size: 15-20' tall. • Vegetative Spread Rate: Slow • Lifespan: Lifespan


Riversides , open forests .[3].


[ Back to top ]


Duration: PerennialCoppice Potential: No • Progagated by Bulbs: No • Propagated by Bare Root: Yes • Propagated by Container: Yes • Propagated by Corms: No • Propagated by Cuttings: No • Propagated by Seed: Yes • Propagated by Sod: No • Propagated by Sprigs: Yes • Propagated by Tubers: No • Fruit/Seed Period Begin: Year RoundFruit/Seed Period End: Year RoundFruit/Seed Persistence: No


Culture: Space 12-15' apart.

Soil: Adapted to Medium Textured: Adapted to Medium Textured Soils • Adapted to Coarse Textured Soils: Yes • Anaerobic Tolerance: Medium • Salinity Tolerance: Medium • CaCO3 Tolerance: Medium • Minimum pH: 4.0 • Maximum pH: 7.0 • Fertility Requirement: Low

Sunlight: Sun Exposure: Sun to Partial Shade. • Shade Tolerance: Intolerant

Moisture: Drought Tolerance: Medium • Minimum Precipitation: 60 • Maximum Precipitation: 100 • Moisture Use: Medium

Temperature: Minimum Temperature (F): 17 • Minimum Frost Free Days: 365 • Cold Hardiness: 9b, 10a, 10b, 11. (map)


[ Back to top ]


B. humilis Reichenbach Ex Ruprecht • B. madagascariensis Rivière & C. Rivière • B. sieberi Grisebach; • B. striata Loddiges Ex Lindley • B. surinamensis Ruprecht • B. thouarsii Kunth • B. vulgaris var. striata (Loddiges Ex Lindley) Gamble • B. vulgaris var. vittata Rivière & C. rivièreBambusa auriculata Kurz • L. vulgaris var. striata (Loddiges Ex Lindley) Nakai. • Leleba vulgaris (Schrader Ex J. C. Wendland) Nakai


Name Status: Accepted Name .

Last scrutiny: 15-Mar-2000

Similar Species

[ Back to top ]

Members of the genus Bambusa

ZipcodeZoo has pages for 79 species, subspecies, varieties, forms, and cultivars in this genus:

B. albostriata (White-Variegated Weavers´ Bamboo) · B. amahussana (Indonesian Thin-Walled Bamboo) · B. arnhemica (Arnhem Land Bamboo) · B. arundinacea (Bamboo) · B. atra (Indian Bamboo) · B. balcooa (Giant Bamboo) · B. bambos (Giant Thorny Bamboo) · B. bambusa (Bamboos) · B. basihirsuta (Pin Bamboo) · B. beecheyana (Beechey's Bamboo) · B. bicicatricata (Bamboo) · B. blumeana (Giant Thorny Bamboo) · B. boniopsis (Hard-Sheathed Bamboo) · B. burmanica (Burma Bamboo) · B. cerosissima (Waxy Lingnania) · B. chungii (Tropical Blue Bamboo) · B. chungii 'Barbalatta' (Blue Bamboo) · B. cornigera (Ox-Horn Bamboo) · B. dissimulator (Bamboo) · B. distegia (Upright Bamboo) · B. dolichoclada (Long-Branched Bamboo) · B. dolichoclada 'Stripe' (Bamboo) · B. dolichomerithalla (Striped Blowpipe Bamboo) · B. dolichomerithalla 'Silverstripe' (Bamboo) · B. duriuscula (Laiamko Bamboo) · B. emeiensis 'Flavidorivens' (Bamboo) · B. emeiensis 'Viridiflavus' (Bamboo) · B. eutuldoides (Dai Ngan Bamboo (Hong Kong)) · B. eutuldoides 'Viridi-Vittata' (Bamboo) · B. flexuosa (Lesser Thorny Bamboo) · B. floribunda (Heavy-Flowering Bamboo) · B. forbesii (Iron Range Bamboo) · B. gibba (Bamboo) · B. gibboides (Tender Shoot Bamboo) · B. glaucescens (Golden Goddess Bamboo) · B. glaucophylla (Malay Dwarf) · B. heterostachya (Malay Dwarf Bamboo) · B. humilis (Malayan Dwarf Bamboo) · B. lako (Timor Black Bamboo) · B. lapidea (Horsehoof Bamboo) · B. longifolia (Longflower Bamboo) · B. longispiculata (Bamboo) · B. maculata (Bamboo) · B. malingensis (Maling Bamboo) · B. membranacea (White Bamboo) · B. multiplex (Alphonse Karr Bamboo) · B. multiplex 'Alphonso-Karrii' (Alphonso-Karrii Bamboo) · B. multiplex 'Fernleaf' (Hedge Bamboo) · B. multiplex 'Golden Goddess' (Golden Goddess Bamboo) · B. multiplex 'Riviereorum' (Chinese Goddess) · B. multiplex 'Silverstripe' (Hedge Bamboo) · B. mutabilis (Emerald Bamboo) · B. nguyenii (Broad-Leaved Vietnamese Bamboo) · B. nutans (Bamboo) · B. oldhamii (Giant Timber Bamboo) · B. oliveriana (Bushy Bamboo) · B. pachinensis (Bamboo) · B. pervariabilis (Bamboo) · B. pervariabilis 'Viridistriata' (Sunburst Bamboo) · B. polymorpha (Polymorph Bamboo) · B. rigida (Rigid Bamboo) · B. sinospinosa (Chinese Thorny Bamboo) · B. textilis (Textile Bamboo) · B. textilis 'Albostriata' (Weavers Bamboo) · B. textilis 'Glabra' (Weavers Bamboo) · B. textilis 'Gracilis' (Graceful Bamboo) · B. textilis 'Maculata' (Weavers Bamboo) · B. textilis 'Scranton' (Bamboo) · B. tulda (Bamboo) · B. tulda 'Striata' (Bengal Bamboo) · B. tuldoides (Punting Pole Bamboo) · B. tuldoides 'Kimmei' (Buddhas Belly Bamboo) · B. tuldoides 'Ventricosa' (Buddhas Belly Bamboo Ventricosa) · B. vario-striata (Bamboo) · B. ventricosa (Common Bamboo) · B. vulgaris (Buddhas Belly Bamboo) · B. vulgaris var. Vittata (Golden Hawaiian Bamboo) · B. vulgaris 'Wamin' (Dwarf Buddhas Belly Bamboo) · B. 'Hirose' (Bamboo)

More Info

[ Back to top ]

Further Reading

[ Back to top ]


[ Back to top ]


Data Sources

Accessed through GBIF Data Portal December 02, 2007:



  1. Shou-liang Chen, De-Zhu Li, Guanghua Zhu, Zhenlan Wu, Sheng-lian Lu, Liang Liu, Zheng-ping Wang, Bi-xing Sun, Zheng-de Zhu, Nianhe Xia, Liang-zhi Jia, Zhenhua Guo, Wenli Chen, Xiang Chen, Yang Guangyao, Sylvia M. Phillips, Chris Stapleton, Robert J. Soreng, Susan G. Aiken, Nikolai N. Tzvelev, Paul M. Peterson, Stephen A. Renvoize, Marina V. Olonova & Klaus Ammann "Poaceae". in Flora of China Vol. 22. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  2. Nianhe Xia, Liang-zhi Jia, De-Zhu Li & Chris Stapleton "Bambusa". in Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 8, 9, 41, 121, 148. Published by Science Press (Beijing) and Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
  3. "Bambusa vulgaris". in Flora of China Vol. 22 Page 10, 19, 25. Missouri Botanical Garden Press. Online at [back]
Last Revised: 2015-02-06