Bamboo Species of Costa Rica
8 genera, 39 species
Costa Rica is the country with the largest woody bamboo diversity in Central America. At present, 8 genera and 39 species of woody bamboos are reported.
The majority of the Costa Rican native woody bamboos (54%) belong to the genus Chusquea, and the rest belong to the genera Arthrostylidium, Rhipidocladum, Guadua, Aulonemia, Elytrostachys, Merostachys and Neurolepis.
Costa Rica and Mexico are the only countries in Central America where bamboo, especially Guadua angustifolia, has been developed in the last 15 years and where it occupies a significant position in the economy. However, the uses of most native species in Costa Rica have been insignificant.
It is known that Chusquea pittieri, locally called "cana brava" or "caneula", is used in the province of Cartago for Christmas decorations. Its culms reach 10-20 m in height and up to 5 cm in diameter, are straight at the base and arched at the tip. Chusquea pittieri is a promising species for light structures and furniture.
Elytrostachys clavigera has been developed in the Valley of Talamanca as a potential material for bamboo weaving. It occurs naturally in the provinces of Alajuela, Puntarenas, Limon, San José and Heredia.
The genus Guadua in Costa Rica is represented by three species: Guadua amplexifolia (locally called "cana brava") in the Provinces of Guanacaste and Nicoya; Guadua macclurei in the provinces of Alajuela and Puntarenas; and Guadua paniculata in the provinces of Guanacaste and Puntarenas. The presence of Guadua aculeata needs to be confirmed in the northern part of the country. The species Guadua angustifolia is introduced.