Dendrocalamus is a tropical genus of giant clumping bamboo. There are about 30 species of Dendrocalamus distributed in China.
While checking the bamboo collections, researchers from Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) discovered an extraordinary Dendrocalamus species. After literature review and morphological comparisons, the researchers confirmed that the species is new to science.
They named the new bamboo species as Dendrocalamus menghanensis to refer to its original place, i.e. Menghan Town, Xishuangbanna, south Yunnan and got it published in PhytoKeys.
Dendrocalamus menghanensis is an arborescent bamboo. It is morphologically similar to D. semiscandens and D. birmanicus, but can be easily distinguished from them by having a reflexed culm sheath blade, 10 mm high culm sheath ligule, 1 mm high leaf sheath ligule, 4 florets and 1 glume.
Dendrocalamus menghangensis is only known from Menghan Township, Jinghong, Yunnan, China. Many forests have been destroyed because of the plantation of rubber trees in this region in the past 30 years.
The researchers did not find the new species at the locality where it was introduced. Further investigation is required to find more distribution localities. They considered its conservation status as data deficient according to the IUCN parameters.
WANG Pingyuan Ph.D
Center for Integrative Conservation, Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Menglun, Mengla, Yunnan 666303, China
Dendrocalamus menghanensisi. A Clump B portion of young culm with culm sheath C new shoot D flowering branches E glume F lemma G palea H floret I pistil J ovary. (images by WANG Pingyuan)