Giant Thorny Bamboo

Bambusa bambos



General Information :

  • It is a tall, bright-green colored spiny bamboo species.
  • It grows in thickets consisting of a large number of heavily branched, closely growing culms.
  • Culms are not straight, but are armed with stout, curved spines.
  • Mature Culm sheaths are dark brown in color.
  • Upper surfaces of the sheath are covered with blackish-brown hairs.

Distribution :

  • Most common indigenous species of the Indian subcontinent growing throughout the country in the plains.
  • It covers about 28% of the total bamboo area in the country.

Habitat : Dry deciduous and Semi-evergreen forest.

Soil : Succeeds in most well-drained soils of at least moderate fertility.

Soil pH : 4.5 - 7.5

Altitude :900 to 1,200 m (MSL)

Rainfall :1,000 - 5,000 mm

Temperature : 13 - 39°c

Terrain : It prefers moist and well drained terrain

Tree Characteristics : Strong light demander and intolerant of suppression. Drought resistant,very hardy. The trees are very hardy to injuries and do not die untill in contrast to most of th forest trees whn gridled.

Habit : Evergreen and semi - evergreen forest.

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Regenerates naturally by seeds and rhizomes.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Propagated  by seed , nursery raised seedlings and offset planting (using culm cutting)

Seed collection and Storage :

  • Flowers are produced from November to March.
  • Seeds ripen April-May.
  • Seeds from sporadically flowered clumps are collected in April –May by cutting the branches.
  • Separated seeds can be stored for one year in sealed tins.
  • Germination capacity progressively reduces day by day.
  • Average seed weight varies 25000 – 35000/ kg
  • Germination capacity of fresh seeds is 70 -75%

Seed Treatment :

  • No pretreatment is required.

Nursery Technique :

  • Seed is broadcast in raised mother beds of size 10 m x 1 m, in September to October.
  • Approximately 1.5 kg of seeds required for standard mother bed.
  • Germination takes 10-20 days.
  • 3 months old seedlings are pricked out and transplanted in poly bags and watered regularly.
  • Seedling may attain 60 cm tall in one year are suitable for planting.

Plantation technique :

Season of planting

  • Planting during the pre monsoon showers or just prior to active monsoon ensures better survival and quicker field establishment.
  • If irrigation of the plants is feasible planting may be delayed by a few months even up to December.
Pre planting operations
  • Demarcation and fencing to be completed at least three months prior to planting. Weeding, at least 15 days prior to planting.
Pit size & treatment
  • 45 X 45 X 45 cm cubical pits to be half filled with soil and kept exposed to sun for sterilization for about a month.
  • Along with the pre monsoon showers when the soil is sufficiently moist, the pits are to be completely filled and planted with one year old planting stock.
  • The filled up soil to be compacted aroundthe clump.
  • Spacing of5 X 5m to be maintained when grown for timber production.

Care & Disease Control :

  • Bamboo has to be kept well weeded, both in nursery and young plantation.
  • It must be protected against cattle grazing, browsing and fire.

Irrigation :

  • Water immediately after transplantation

Recommended Harvest :

  • Felling starts 5th year onwards.

Yield :

  • Annually about 275-300 productive clumps per hectare
  • 3-4 tones at first cut.
  • 5-6 tones at second cut and
  • 8 tones at third cut.
  • Expected yield per hectare is about 70-75 tones over the entire life cycle.
  • Industrial plantation of Bamboo yields 3 tones /ha/year

Agro Forestory :

  • Various agricultural crops have been found successful like tomato, watermelon, sweet potato, ginger and turmeric. 
  • During the first three years, it is possible to cultivate profitable intercrops such as turmeric, ginger, chillies etc. and various shade loving medicinal and aromatic plants.

Major uses :

Stem :

  • Stem used to make baskets and ladders
  • Young stems - cooked as a vegetable.
Seeds :
  • Seeds cooked like rice when they are abundant.               
Medicinal :
  • A decoction of the leaves and nodes and siliceous matter is used in the traditional medicine.
Agro forestry Uses:
  • The plant is suitable for the reclamation of ravine land.

Market details :

  • Approximately Rs.4000 to Rs.4500 / ton.