There are three species of bamboo, namely, Ma-chu, or Sinocalamusmus latiflorus McClure; Lü-chu,or
Sinocalamus Oldhami McClure; and T'ze-chu, or Bambusa stenostachya, Hackel commonly raised in
Southern Fukien for shoots as summer vegetable.
They may be distinguished by the vegetative characteristics which are briefly mentioned as follows:
Sinocalamus latiflorus McClure. Cuhn 20-25 metres long; some node at the basal part of culm without
branch, branchlets appearing only at the basal part of branch; leaf 26.7 cm long and 5.5 cm wide, with 11 to
12 lateral veins on either side of main vein; ligula of leaf sheath not hairy; underground stem containing ten
tillering nodes; the lower portion of shoot sheath with a few inconspicuous marginal hairs; apical part of
shoot sheath oval; sprout conical weighing one to three kilograms generally.
Sinocalamus Oldhami McClure. Culm about 10 metres long; some node at the basal part of culm without
branch; branchlets appearing only at the basal part of branch; leaf 14–15 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, with 8
to 10 lateral veins on either side of main vein; ligula of leaf sheath hairy; underground stem containing six
tillering nodes; upper portion of shoot sheath with a few inconspicuous marginal hairs; apical part of shoot
sheath triangular; shoot slightly bended at tip in lateral view, shoot weighing generally less than half a
kilogram. Bambusa stenostachya Hackel. Node of calm having a branch; node of branch usually bearing
branchlets, each with two sharp thorns at the sides of branchlet; underground stem sympodial, with six
tillering nodes; bamboo shoot slightly bended at tip in lateral view; shoot sheath triangular covered densely
with dark red hairs; shoot buds irregularly tinged with dark red colour. A shoot weighing generally half a
kilogram. Ma-chu, Lü-chu, and T'ze-chu generally grow in clumps. For production of both shoots and
bamboos, it is necessary to understand their growth habits. Bamboo shoots originate from the tillers, which
are situated at the base of bamboo culms; evidently they are inmature calms. Bamboo shoots also carry
active buds at their bases. Upon removal of the shoots at harvest in summer, these basal buds grow into
new shoots either immediately or in the following summer.
In accordence with their growth habits, we suggest the proper methods of grove management of each of the
three above-mentioned bamboo species as follows:
1, In Ma-chu new shoots as well as new culms originate from the buds at the basal part of the previous crop
of bamboo shoot after the upper edible portion is harvested. Similarly, the buds of the tiller from the old
culms are also capable of sending out new calms, and in so doing, a large quantity of reserved foods is
removed; therefore it checks the further sprouting of bamboos. In order to encourage shoot production
the above phenomenon should be avoided. Each clump of Ma-chu usually consists of 7 to 8 culms.
2, Lü-chu shoots derive mainly from the tillers of the culms and for this very season it is necessary to keep
as many as fifteen to sixteen culms in a bamboo clump. Bamboo calms arise from the basal buds of the
edible portion. It is important to allow shoots to grow into culms only toward the end of summer. Should
the growth of calm be allowed earlies than this date, too much reserved foods which are necessary for proper
shoot production will be used up.
3, T'ze-chu, the sprouts originate from the tillers of old culms. They contain no active buds. The
number of culms in a clump is indefinite. The chief function of this species is to defend river banks,
while the yield of shoots as vegetable is of secondary importance.
Culms of the aforesaid three species: of bamboo begin to produce shoots one year after their usual growth.