Dendrocalamus asper

Dendrocalamus asper

Dendrocalamus asper also known as Rough Bamboo or Giant Bamboo is a giant tropical and subtropical dense clumping species native to Southeast Asia. This timber bamboo is used as a building material for heavy construction, and shoots are consumed as a vegetable.

Height 20 - 30 m
Diameter 8 - 20 cm
Growth Habit Clumping
Climate Tropical - Subtropical
Hardiness -4 °C
Origin Malaysia

Culms: Dendrocalamus asper has large woody culms between 20-30 m tall and 8-20 cm in diameter, and has relatively thick walls (11-20 mm) which become thinner towards the top of the culm. The lower culms show aerial roots (rootlets) from the nodes. Culm internodes are 20-45 cm long, pale green and covered with short brown hairs.

Branches: Many clustered branches with 1 larger central dominant branch usually occur from ca. 9th node up.

Leaves: Leaf-blades are lance-shaped and between 15–30 cm long and 10–25 mm wide.

Seeds: Flowering cycle and seed-setting is reported to be about every 60-100 years. Dendrocalamus asper flowers gregariously although sporadic flowering has been reported.

Habitat: Planted or naturalized from low elevations up to 1,500 m. Dendrocalamus asper thrives best at 400-500 m altitude in areas with average annual rainfall of about 2,400 mm. They grow well on various soil types, even on sandy and rather acidic soils, but prefers well-drained heavy soils.

Uses: Dendrocalamus asper poles are used as a building material and structural timber for heavy construction such as houses and bridges. The culm internodes used as containers for water and other fluids, and as cooking pots. This bamboo is also used for making laminated boards, furniture, musical instruments, chopsticks, household utensils and handicrafts. Young shoots are sweet and considered a delicious vegetable.

Dendrocalamus asper Distribution Map

Origin: The origin is not certain but is probably to originate in northern Malaysia (an apparently wild plant was found near Cameron Highlands).


Arnel wrote:

I have been looking for the scientific name of the bamboo that I have planted more than about twenty five years ago, and now I know. It is Dendrocalamus asper! The local name here in Leyte, Philippines is "Patung". I planted three of this kind of bamboo and it is growing vigorously. I also planted another type about three years ago and I still cannot identify it. It is a thin walled type, slightly smaller in diameter than the D. asper but it grows about as tall.

Dirk wrote:

Planting Dendrocalamus asper Rhizomes

How can Dendrocalamus asper rhizomes be safely removed, transported, and re-planted?



Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

For information on planting rhizomes see this article about bamboo rhizome propagation.

Marc wrote:

Biomass Production of Dendrocalamus asper vs Guadua angustifolia

I'm curious to know which bamboo produces more biomass in a per hectare basis: Dendrocalamus asper or Guadua angustifolia?



Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

To be honest, I can't compare because I only have scientific studies for Guadua angustifolia. A Guadua plantation with a planting density of 5m x 5m (400 plants) can produce 862 tons biomass per hectare in 7 years (from the time of planting until year 7). In other words, an average biomass production of 123 ton per hectare per year.

Theoretically Dendrocalmus asper (being a very dense clumping bamboo) could produce even more biomass per hectare when the planting density is very high. But in practical terms, it would be impossible to manage a Dendrocalamus plantation if all bamboos are planted so close together. Guadua is an "open clumper" so there is always space between the stems which makes it much easier to sustainably harvest the stems and manage the plantation.

A lot of different variables have to be considered when talking about biomass production, but since Guadua angustifolia is a giant tropical bamboo, I think it would be safe to say that it is one of the largest biomass producing species in the world (both among bamboo species or any other high yielding crop). 


Marc replied:

Hi Stephane, could you show us a chart breaking down the "sustainable" biomass yield/production of Guadua angustifolia in tons, per hectare, per year of growth? In addition, do you happen to have any studies showing the Calorific value of Guadua angustifolia (Average 4000


Stephane from Guadua Bamboo replied:

Yes I do have all this information but I can't share this publicly because this is very valuable data to our company as these studies required a lot of time, energy and resources!