15. Phyllostachys iridescens C. Y. Yao & S. Y. Chen, Acta Phytotax. Sin. 18: 170. 1980 [“iridenscens”].
红哺鸡竹 hong bu ji zhu
Culms 6–12 m, 4–7 cm in diam.; internodes green, becoming gray-green, 17–24 cm, initially white powdery, gradually showing yellow-green stripes in first two years; wall 6–7 mm thick; nodal ridge weakly elevated, as prominent as sheath scar. Culm sheaths purple-red or pale purple-red, with purple-brown margins, densely purple-brown spotted, thinly white powdery, glabrous; auricles and oral setae absent; ligule purple-brown, arcuate, broad, with long, purple-red cilia, blade reflexed, green with red-yellow margins, linear, flat or weakly crinkled. Leaves 3 or 4 per ultimate branch; auricles absent; oral setae deciduous, purple; ligule moderately exserted, purple-red; blade 8–17 × 1.2–2.1 cm. Flowering branchlets spicate, (2.5–)5–6(–8.5) cm, scaly bracts 3–5; spathes 5–7, pubescent; oral setae 1–3, short; blade small. Pseudospikelets 2 or 3(or 4) per spathe. Spikelets lanceolate, purple, 3–3.5 cm; florets 1–3, uppermost usually sterile. Glumes absent or 1, lanceolate; rachilla ending in a short, awnlike point, internodes pubescent; lemma 1.8–2.1 cm, glabrous, apex acuminate with an awnlike point; palea 1.5–1.8 cm, subglabrous or pilosulose at apex; keels conspicuous or inconspicuous; lodicules ovate-lanceolate, 2.5–3 mm. Anthers ca. 1 cm. Stigmas 3. New shoots Apr, fl. Apr–May.
* Cultivated. Anhui, Jiangsu, Zhejiang.
This species is grown for its delicious shoots and strong culms; the latter are used for props and tool handles.