21. Phyllostachys edulis (Carrière) J. Houzeau, Bambou (Mons). 39. 1906.
毛竹 mao zhu
Bambusa edulis Carrière, Rev. Hort. 380. 1866; B. heterocycla Carrière; Phyllostachys heterocycla (Carrière) Mitford; P. heterocycla var. pubescens (Mazel ex J. Houzeau) Ohwi; P. pubescens Mazel ex J. Houzeau.
Culms to 20 m or more, to 20 cm in diam.; internodes to 40 cm or more, basal ones gradually shortened and thickened toward base, initially white powdery, densely puberulent; wall ca. 1 cm thick, nodal ridge inconspicuous at nodes without branches, more prominent at branching nodes and in slender culms; sheath scar setose on margin. Culm sheaths yellow-brown or purple-brown with dark brown spots, densely brown hairy; auricles relatively small; oral setae strongly developed; ligule arcuate to acutely so, long ciliate; blade initially erect, becoming reflexed, green, narrowly triangular or lanceolate to linear. Leaves 2–4 per ultimate branch; auricles inconspicuous; oral setae present; ligule prominent; blade small, thin, 4–11 × 0.5–1.2 cm, abaxially proximally pubescent along midrib, secondary veins 3–6-paired, tertiary veins ca. 9. Flowering branchlets spicate, 5–6 cm; scaly bracts 4–6, gradually larger, sometimes with 1–3 additional bracts resembling foliage leaves at base; spathes more than 10, laterally imbricate, lower ones sterile and deciduous giving naked stalklike axis, upper part puberulent, margins ciliate; auricles absent; oral setae deciduous; blade lanceolate to subulate, small. Pseudospikelets 1–3 per spathe. Spikelets with 1 floret. Glume 1, 1.5–2.8 cm, apex with a small subulate blade, pubescent; rachilla extension short, awnlike, internodes puberulent; lemma 2.2–2.4 cm, distally and marginally pubescent; palea slightly shorter than lemma, distally pubescent; lodicules lanceolate, ca. 5 × 1 mm. Anthers ca. 1.2 cm; filaments ca. 4 cm. Stigmas 3. Caryopsis narrowly elliptic, 5–10 × 1.5–1.8 cm, apex with persistent style base. New shoots Apr, fl. May–Aug. 2n = 48*.
* Mountain slopes; below 1600 m or more. Anhui, Fujian Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Hunan, Jiangsu, Jiangxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Taiwan, Yunnan, Zhejiang [introduced in Korea, Japan, Philippines, Vietnam, and North America].
The apparent earlier homonym "Phyllostachys edulis" (Rivière & C. Rivière, Bull. Soc. Natl. Acclim. France, sér. 3, 5: 623. 1878) was not validly published because it was merely cited as a synonym of P. mitis Poiret.
This is the most economically important bamboo in China, widely cultivated for its versatile culms and delicious shoots. Many cultivars have been named, including Phyllostachys edulis 'Heterocycla', the Tortoise-shell Bamboo, which has asymmetrically shortened and swollen culm internodes.