Bamboo Species of Panama
7 genera, 21 species
In Panama, bamboo is scarcely used as an economic plant. However, Panama is the third richest country in woody bamboo diversity in Central America: 43% of its species belong to the genus Chusquea, and the rest belong to the genera Arthrostylidium, Aulonemia, Elytrostachys, Guadua, Neurolepis and Rhipidocladum.
Guadua angustifolia has been cultivated in the Canal Zone Experimental Garden, from where it has been distributed to several Latin American countries, including Peru, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Cuba (US National herbarium).
It is doubtful whether this species exists in this country in any natural distribution; it may have spread from the Canal Zone, where it was introduced from Ecuador in 1924 by Mr. Holgar Johansen, according to specimen at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
According to Young and Judd (1992), some of the plants collected as wild have been so suspiciously close to the experiment stations that they might be just escapes. Another unresolved problem in its natural distribution is the role that human cultivation has played in transporting this huge potential species.