Bamboos, Bambusoideae, are evergreen woody plants within the Grass Family, Poaceae. They are large for Grasses. with most species being shrubby, and some rainforest species forming tree-sized plants reaching over 30 m in height. This is particularly remarkable, as each Bamboo stem will reach this size in a single growing season (usually less than four months), with new shoots being produced from an underground rhizome (root-like stem) each growing season, and persisting for several years. In order to do this Bamboos have become the fastest growing plants on Earth, with speeds of up to a milimetre every 90 seconds recorded (which comes out at 4 cm per hour) over a meter in a day. Bamboos flower unfrequently, with many species able to go through many years of vegetative growth, before suddenly going through a flowering episode, co-ordinated over a wide area, to enable sexual reproduction; the most extreme example of this being a Chinese species, Phyllostachys bambusoides, which flowers only once every 130 years.
In a paper published in the journal Phytokeys on 31 Augusr 2017, Wen-Gen Zhang, Xue-Nan Ji and Yu-Guang Liu of the Jiangxi Provincial Key Laboratory for Bamboo Germplasm Resources and Utilization at Jiangxi Agricultural University and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Jiangxi Typical Trees Cultivation and Utilization, Wei-Jian Li, also of the Collaborative Innovation Center of Jiangxi Typical Trees Cultivation and Utilization, and Guang-Yao Yang. of the Jiangxi Provincial Key Laboratory for Bamboo Germplasm Resources and Utilization at Jiangxi Agricultural University and the Collaborative Innovation Center of Jiangxi Typical Trees Cultivation and Utilization, describe a new species of Bamboo from Xunwu County, in southeastern Jiangxi Province, China.
The new species is placed in the genus Gelidocalamus, and given the specific name xunwuensis, meaning 'from Xumwu'. It is a small Bamboo, reaching 2.5 m in height, with stems up to 5.6 mm wide and leaves up to 10 cm lomg. The internodes (spaces between leaf stems) are up to 20 cm long, with branching from the fourth node upwards. The species was found growing in an evergreen broadleafed forest at an altitude of between 400 and 600 m above sea level.
Gelidocalamus xunwuensis, growing plant. Zhang et al. (2017).
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