Bambusa vulgaris Schrad.

Last updated: 15 April 2015

Scientific Name

Bambusa vulgaris Schrad.


Arundarbor blancoi (Steud.) Kuntze, Arundarbor fera (Oken) Kuntze, Arundarbor monogyna (Blanco) Kuntze, Arundarbor striata (Lindl.) Kuntze, Arundo fera Oken, Bambusa auriculata Kurz, Bambusa blancoi Steud., Bambusa fera (Oken) Miq., Bambusa humilis Rchb. ex Rupr. [Invalid], Bambusa latiflora (Balansa) T.Q.Nguyen [Illegitimate], Bambusa madagascariensis Rivière & C.Rivière [Invalid], Bambusa mitis Blanco [Illegitimate], Bambusa monogyna Blanco, Bambusa nguyenii Ohrnb., Bambusa sieberi Griseb., Bambusa striata Lodd. ex Lindl., Bambusa surinamensis Rupr., Bambusa thouarsii Kunth, Gigantochloa auriculata (Kurz) Kurz, Leleba vulgaris (Schrad. ex J.C.Wendl.) Nakai, Nastus thouarsii (Kunth) Raspail, Nastus viviparus Raspail, Oxytenanthera auriculata (Kurz) Prain [1]

Vernacular Name

Malaysia Buloh minyak, buloh kuning (Peninsular); tamelang (Sabah) [2]; buluh minyak haur, buluh tutul, buluh gading, aur gading, buluh pau, pau, po-o, pook [3], bambu kuning, buluh aur, tamalang, tamalang silau, tambalang,tamelang [4]
English Common bamboo [2], bamboo, feathery bamboo, golden bamboo, soft bamboo, striped bamboo, yellow bamboo [4]
China Long tou zhu [4]
India Bakal, banh, bannada biddiru, basini bans, basinibans, davike, haladi bidiru, jai-baruwa, kalaka, pon mungil, seemamula, sunderkania bansa [4]
Indonesia Bambu kuning (yellow culms), bamboo ampel (green culms), domar (Ambonese) [2]; jajang ampel, jajang gading, pring, ampel, pring legi, pring tutul (Javanese); awi ampel, awi gading, awi haur, awi koneng, awi tutul (Sundanese); auwe gadieng, auwe kunieng, bamboo kuring-kuring ( Sumatran) [3]
Thailand Phai-luang (General); phai-ngachang (Peninsular) [2]; pai mai [3], chan kham, mai luang, pai cheen, pai chin, rai yai, ree sai, ri sai [4]
Laos S’a:ng kh’am’ [2][4]
Myanmar Wanet [2][4]
Philippines Kauayan-kiling (Tagalog); kabaloan (Bikol); butong (Visaya) [2]; bolinao, bolinau, burirau, butong, kabaloayan, kauyan, kauyan china, kauyan killing, kauyan kiting, kawayan, kawayang-china, kawayang killing, kawayang kiting, kawayang tsima, killing, labong, limas, lunas, maribal, marobal, patong, patung, sinambang, sinamgang, taiu anak, taring, teunak, tewanak, tiling [4]
Cambodia Rüssèi kaèw [2][4]
Vietnam Phai-bongkham (Northern), tre m[owx], tre tr[owf] [2][4]
Japan Dai-san-chiku, daisan-chiku, kinsi chiku [4]
Nigeria Agaraba, igbon ikraai, vyo [4]
France Grand bamboo [2]

Geographical Distributions

Bambusa vulgaris originated in the Old World, probably in tropical Asia. It is arguably the most widely cultivated bamboo throughout the tropics and subtropics, but it is also found spontaneously or naturalised on river banks. In Southeast Asia, it is the most commonly encountered cultivated bamboo, found everywhere in villages, on river banks and also as an ornamental in towns. [2]

B. vulgaris can be found growing pantropical from low elevation up to 1200 m altitude. Along rivers and lakes, it grows almost in permanently humid conditions, but it also grows in areas with a severe dry season where the plants become completely defoliated. It is frost hardy to -3°C. In Southeast Asia, the green-culm plants are widely naturalised on river banks, road sides, wastelands and open ground. In Peninsular Malaysia, it even grows well on degraded soils containing tin. [2]

Botanical Description

B. vulgaris is a member of Poaceae family [1]. It is a sympodial bamboo with erect culm, sinuous or slightly zig-zag, measures 10-20 m tall, measuring 4-10 cm in diametre, wall measures 7-15 mm thick, glossy green and yellow, or yellow with green stripes. The internodes are 20-45 cm long with appressed dark hairs and white waxy when young and become hairless, smooth and shiny with age. The nodes are oblique and slightly swollen while the basal is covered with aerial roots [2].

The branches arise from midculm upward nodes, occasionally also at the lower nodes and with several to many at each node with a primary branch dominant. [2]

The culm sheath is more or less broadly triangular, measuring 15-45 cm x 20 cm where the upper one is the longest, deciduous, light green or stramineous, covered with appressed black hairs, hairy at the margins and slightly rounded apex at the junction with the blade. The blade is erect, broadly triangular, measuring 4-5 cm x 5-6 cm, slightly narrowed at the junction with the sheath, acuminate stiffy, hairy on both surfaces and along the lower part of the margins. [2]

The ligule is 3 mm long and slightly serrated. The auricles are relatively large, measure 0.5-2 cm long and with pale brown bristles measure 3-8 mm long along the edges. The auricles which have small rounded lobes are 0.5-1.5 mm long and with some bristles measure 1-3 mm long. The young shoots are yellow-green and covered with black hairs. The leaf blade measuring 6-30 cm x 1-4 cm and hairless. The subentire rim ligule is 0.5-1.5 mm long. [2]

The inflorescence is usually borne on a leafless branch of a leafless culm or on a culm that with small leaves and bearing small groups of pseudospikelets at the nodes measure 2-6 cm apart. The spikelet measuring 12-19(-35) mm x 4-5 mm, laterally flattened and comprises of 5-10 perfect florets with a terminal vestigial floret. The caryopsis is not known. [2]


It grows best at low altitudes; above 1000 m altitude where culms become smaller in length and diametre. It thrives under a wide range of moisture and soil conditions. [2]

Chemical Constituent

No documentation

Plant Part Used

No documentation

Traditional Use

No documentation

Preclinical Data

No documentation

Clinical Data

No documentation


No documentation

Poisonous Management

No documentation

Line drawing


Figure 1: The line drawing of B. vulgaris Schrad.[2]


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Bambusa vulgaris Schrad.[homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2015 Apr 15]. Available from:
  2. Dransfield S, Widjaja EA. Bambusa vulgaris Schrader ex Wendland. In: Dransfield S, Widjaja EA, editors. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 7: Bamboos. Leiden, Netherlands: Backhuys Publisher; 1995. p. 74-78.
  3. Herbal Medicine Research Centre, Institute Medical Research. Compendium of Medicinal Plants Used in Malaysia. Volume 1. Kuala Lumpur: HMRC IMR; 2002. p.100.
  4. Umberto Q. CRC World Dictionary of Medicinal and Poisonous Plants: Common Names, Scientific Names, Eponyms, Synonyms, and Etymology (5 Volume Set). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2012. p. 531.