Description from Flora of China
Leptocanna L. C. Chia & H. L. Fung.
Arborescent bamboos, sometimes shrubby or scrambling. Rhizomes short necked, pachymorph. Culms erect, pendulous, or clambering, straight or slightly flexuose; internodes terete, distally often white powdery; wall usually thin; nodal ridge not prominent; sheath scar prominent. Branches many, subequal. Culm sheaths deciduous, leathery to thickly papery, usually rigid, white powdery, apex truncate or concave, sometimes with subcircular projection at base of one margin; auricles usually inconspicuous; oral setae usually developed; ligule short, truncate, margin serrulate or fimbriate; blade usually reflexed, adaxially densely hispid, apex usually involute. Leaf sheaths usually grooved; auricles usually inconspicuous; blade large, transverse veins partially visible abaxially. Inflorescence fully bracteate, iterauctant; with several to many sessile pseudospikelets in loose, spicate clusters on leafy or leafless flowering branches. Pseudospikelet prophyll triangular to linear-lanceolate; gemmiferous bracts 1 to several; fertile florets 1 or 2, or florets 3 or 4 with only terminal or subterminal floret fertile; rachilla usually disarticulating (not in S. chinense), extending beyond fertile floret, glumes usually absent (2 in S. chinense); lemma convolute; palea similar to lemma, but longer, not keeled; lodicules usually absent, sometimes 1–3. Stamens 6. Ovary stalked; style 1; stigmas 3, plumose. Caryopsis fusiform, apex with persistent style base.
In addition to the species treated below, Schizostachyum brachycladum (Munro) Kurz (Melocanna zollingeri (Steudel) Kurz ex Munro var. brachyclada Munro) was included in FRPS (9(1): 23. 1996), but it is only of limited cultivation and does not merit a full treatment here. Schizostachyum subvexorum Q. H. Dai & D. Y. Huang (J. Bamboo Res. 16(3): 27. 1997) was described from cultivated material from Guangxi (Nanning). In the protologue it was compared with S. funghomii.
About 50 species: SE Asia; nine species (five endemic) in China.
(Authors: Xia Nianhe (夏念和); Chris Stapleton)