Description from Flora of China
Nipponocalamus Nakai; Polyanthus C. H. Hu.
Small, shrubby or arborescent bamboos, spreading and loosely clumped. Rhizomes leptomorph. Culms pluricaespitose, suberect to drooping, 0.5–8 m tall, 0.1–4 cm thick; internodes slightly grooved above branches, glabrous, smooth or rough, pruinose below level nodes. Branch buds tall, prophylls 2-keeled, initially closed at front, on small promontory. Branches erect, initially 1–9 per node, long, subequal, basal nodes compressed, laterals arising from basal nodes, some lateral branches lacking subtending sheaths and replicated, sheaths and prophylls very persistent, papery, ± glabrous. Culm sheaths persistent to very persistent, nearly leathery; blade deciduous, often reflexed. Leaf sheaths persistent; blade small to medium-sized, without substantial winter necrosis of margins, arrangement random or ± distichous, transverse veins distinct. Inflorescence open, racemose to paniculate, branching subtended by very small bracts or hairs, often with pulvini; spikelets exserted on long, delicate pedicels. Spikelets 1–4 cm, disarticulating below florets, with 4–8 florets. Glumes 1 or 2(–5), much shorter than first lemma, delicate, basally loose and usually subtending vestigial buds. Lemma to 1 cm. Anthers 3. Stigmas 3. Fruit a caryopsis.
In addition to the species treated below, Pleioblastus albosericeus W. T. Lin (J. S. China Agric. Univ. 11(3): 47. 1990, "albo-sericeus") was described from sterile material from Guangdong (Fogang). In the protologue it was compared with P. intermedius. Pleioblastus angustatus W. T. Lin, (J. Bamboo Res. 13(2): 18. 1994) was described from cultivated material from Guangdong (Guangzhou). In the protologue it was compared with P. amarus. Pleioblastus patellaris W. T. Lin & Z. M. Wu (J. S. China Agric. Univ. 14(3): 113. 1993) was also described from Guangdong and is possibly a species of Indocalamus.
About 40 species: China, Japan, Vietnam; 17 species (15 endemic, two introduced) in China.
(Authors: Zhu Zhengde (朱政德 Chu Cheng-de); Chris Stapleton)