Bamboo Species of Brazil

Bamboo Species of Brazil

17 genera, 135 species, 2 subspecies

Brazil is the country with the greatest bamboo diversity and the highest percentage of endemic woody bamboos in Latin America -- 137 species (32% of Latin American bamboo species) and 17 genera (85% of Latin American bamboo genera). The states of Sao Paulo, Minas Gerais, Santa Catarina, Bahia and Parana have the greatest diversity of woody bamboos.

Foremost among the world centers of bamboo diversity are the Atlantic forests of Brazil, which extend from the state of Paraiba to Rio Grande do Sul in a mostly narrow coastal strip characterized by abundant rainfall, and include 22 genera and 62 species (woody and herbaceous).

Records - of

Species Name



Actinocladum verticillatum 14 mm 3-4.6 m
Alvimia auriculata 5-10 mm 20-25 m
Alvimia gracilis 3-5 mm 6-8 m
Alvimia lancifolia 3-8 mm 6-10 m
Apoclada arenicola 1-6 mm 0.45-1.65 m
Apoclada cannavieria 1-9 mm 0.65-1.75 m
Apoclada simplex 25-50 mm 5-8 m
Arthrostylidium fimbrinodum 4-12 mm 7 m
Arthrostylidium grandifolium 12 mm
Arthrostylidium simpliciusculum 4-10 mm 10-12 m
Arthrostachys capitata
Atractantha amazonica 4-8 mm 6 m
Atractantha aureolanata 5-20 mm 20 m
Atractantha cardinalis 5-13 mm 15 m
Atractantha falcata 5-8 mm 12m
Atractantha radiata 6-13 mm 12 m
Aulonemia amplissima 2 m
Aulonemia aristulata 0.6-3 m
Aulonemia effusa 5 mm 1.5 m
Aulonemia glaziovii
Aulonemia goyazensis
Aulonemia radiata 10 mm 2-3 m
Aulonemia ramosissima
Aulonemia setigera 5-10 m
Aulonemia ulei 6 mm 2-3 m
Chusquea acuminata
Chusquea anelythra 4 mm
Chusquea anelytroides 6-10 m
Chusquea attenuata
Chusquea baculifera 10 mm 2-3 m
Chusquea bahiana 10-17 mm 5-6 m
Chusquea bambusoides 6 mm 10 m
Chusquea bradei 2-10 mm 3-6 m
Chusquea caparaoensis 25 mm 4.5 m
Chusquea capitata
Chusquea capituliflora var. capituliflora 5 mm
Chusquea capituliflora var. pubescens
Chusquea erecta 10 mm 1.5-2.5 m
Chusquea fasciculata
Chusquea gracilis 18 mm
Chusquea heterophylla 10-15 mm 1-2 m
Chusquea ibiramae
Chusquea juergensii 7-15 mm 2-4 m
Chusquea leptophylla 2 mm
Chusquea linearis
Chusquea meyeriana
Chusquea microphylla 3-5 mm 0.5-1 m
Chusquea mimosa ssp. australis
Chusquea mimosa ssp. mimosa
Chusquea nudiramea 10-12 mm 2-4 m
Chusquea nutans 10-15 mm 4-5 m
Chusquea oligophylla 5 mm
Chusquea oxylepis 10 mm 3-5 m
Chusquea pinifolia 5-10 mm 2-3 m
Chusquea pulchella 2-3 mm 2-3 m
Chusquea ramosissima 15 mm 4-10 m
Chusquea riosaltensis 10 mm 1-1.5 m
Chusquea sclerophylla 4 mm
Chusquea sellowii 3 mm 2-3 m
Chusquea tenella 3 mm
Chusquea tenuiglumis
Chusquea urelytra
Chusquea wilkesii
Chusquea windischii 10 mm 1 m
Colanthelia burchellii 1.8-3 m
Colanthelia cingulata 5 mm
Colanthelia distans
Colanthelia intermedia 3 mm
Colanthelia lanciflora 5 mm
Colanthelia macrostachya
Colanthelia rhizantha 2 mm 3 m
Cricuma asymmetrica
Elytrostachys sp.
Eremocaulon aureofimbriatum 25-35 mm 10-11 m
Glaziophyton mirabile 1.8-2.4 m
Guadua calderoniana 20-35 mm 10-20 m
Guadua ciliata 8-20 mm 4-10 m
Guadua glomerata 10-45 mm 8-12 m
Guadua latifolia 30-70 mm 3-11 m
Guadua macrostachya 40-70 mm 8-18 m
Guadua maculosa
Guadua paniculata 50-70 mm 8-10 m
Guadua paraguayana 20-40 mm 8-10 m
Guadua sarcocarpa ssp. sarcocarpa
Guadua superba 100-150 mm 20 m
Guadua tagoara 50-100 mm 10-20 m
Guadua trinii 30-50 mm 8-10 m
Guadua virgata
Guadua weberbaueri 40-120 mm 8-20 m
Merostachys abadiana 2-5 mm 2 m
Merostachys argentea
Merostachys argyronema
Merostachys bifurcata
Merostachys bradei
Merostachys burmanii 40 mm 10-15 m
Merostachys calderoniana
Merostachys caucaiana 10 mm
Merostachys ciliata
Merostachys clausenii var. clausenii
Merostachys clausenii var. mollior
Merostachys exserta
Merostachys filgueirasii 10-15 mm 2-10 m
Merostachys fischeriana
Merostachys fistulosa
Merostachys glauca 12-25 mm
Merostachys kleinii
Merostachys kunthii 6-9 m
Merostachys lanata
Merostachys leptophylla
Merostachys magellanica 12-14 mm 6-8 m
Merostachys medullosa
Merostachys multiramea 30-40 mm 12 m
Merostachys neesii
Merostachys petiolata
Merostachys pilifera 50 mm 20 m
Merostachys pluriflora
Merostachys polyantha 6-8 m
Merostachys procerrima
Merostachys ramosissima
Merostachys riedeliana 6-7.5 m
Merostachys rodoniensis
Merostachys scandens 10-30 mm 6 m
Merostachys sellovii
Merostachys skortzovii
Merostachys sparsiflora 6-8 m
Merostachys speciosa
Merostachys ternata 8-13 mm 12 m
Merostachys vestita 4 mm
Myriocladus grandifolius 15 mm 3 m
Myriocladus neblinaensis 1.5 m
Myriocladus paludicolus 8 m
Myriocladus virgatus 1.5 m
Rhipidocladum parviflorum
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Several exotic bamboo species were introduced to Brazil during the period of colonization by the Portuguese. These species are widely distributed around the country and, along with some natives ones, have a large number of uses: building material (including raw material for low-cost housing); source of food for people and livestock; raw material for making a wide variety of handicrafts; source of medicine; raw material for paper pulp; for erosion control; as ornamental plants; etc. Bamboo is also under research as possible source of ethanol.

The area of bamboo forests in Brazil is still not clearly determined. However, it is known that the states of Amazonas and Acre have the largest area of bamboo. The extent and distribution of bamboo-dominated forest in south-western Amazon basin are uncertain. Recently, with satellite imagery, aerial photographs and site investigations, it has been calculated that the bamboo-dominant area is close to 180,000 km2, or 18 million hectares.

At least 3 genera of woody bamboos have been reported in this bamboo forest: Arthrostylidium, Elytrostachys and Guadua. The most dominant genus is Guadua, with Guadua weberbaueri, Guadua sarcocarpa, Guadua superba, Guadua paraguayana, Guadua capitata, Guadua ciliate, Guadua glomerata and several unknown species forming an impenetrable tangle of thorny vegetation.

The common view in Brazil is that the bamboo resources of the country are infinite. Even then, the alarming rate of destruction, especially of the ecosystems where the majority of native bamboo species are found, calls for an intensive campaign to protect some bamboo species from indiscriminate felling and extinction.

Currently, some Asiatic bamboos, principally in the genera of Bambusa and Dendrocalamus, fill a more important economic role than any native species in Brazil.

Of the 17 genera of woody bamboos native to Brazil, it can be said that only Actinocladum, Apoclada, Chusquea, Guadua and Merostachys consist of any species that have or could have any potential use.