Bambusa balcooa also known as Female Bamboo is a tropical clumping bamboo originating from Northeast India. This bamboo species is often used as a food source, in scaffolding, for paper pulp or wood chips.
|Height||12 - 22 m|
|Diameter||6 - 15 cm|
|Climate||Tropical - Subtropical|
Culms: The culms of Bambusa Balcooa are on average between 12-22 m high and 6-15 cm in diameter. Culms are grayish green and thick walled, where the diameter of the cavity is about one-third of that of the culm. Nodes are thickened with a whitish ring above, and have short small hairs below. Culm internodes are on average between 20-40 cm long.
Shoots: Young Bambusa balcooa shoots have a blackish-green with yellow color. Culm sheaths are brown or orange tinged, covered sparsely with dark brown hairs.
Branches: Several to many clustered branches with 1-3 larger dominant branches. Branches usually occur from middle of the culm to the top. Branches from the lower nodes are leafless and hard, and sometimes thorn-like.
Leaves: Leaves are narrow and are on average 15-30 cm long and 25-50 mm broad.
Seeds: Gregarious flowering and seed-setting usually occurs every 35-45 years, flowering was last reported between 1983-1988.
Habitat: Bambusa balcooa grows up to an altitude of 700 m in tropical monsoon climates with an annual rainfall of 2,500 - 3,000 mm. It grows on any type of soil but prefers heavy textured soils with good drainage and a low pH of about 5.5. An annual production of 1200-1700 culms/ha is reported from Bangladesh.
Mechanical properties: The compressive strength ranges from 39.4 to 50.6 N/mm2 in green and 51.0 to 57.3 N/mm2 in air dry condition. Modulus of rupture varied between 85.0-62.4 N/mm2 in green and 92.6-69.6 N/mm2 in air dry condition. Modulus of elasticity 7.2-10.3 kN/mm2 in green, 9.3-12.7 kN/mm2 in air dry condition (Kabir et al. 1991).
Uses: Stems are used as a building material for houses, bridges, fishing floats, is much used for scaffolding, frames of rickshaw hoods, baskets, woven mats and for agricultural and fishing implements. This bamboo species also serve as a raw material for the wood chip industry, paper pulp, shoots are consumed as a vegetable and leaves are used as fodder.
Origin: Bambusa balcooa is indigenous to North-Eastern India (including the eastern Himalayas), NEPAL and BANGLADESH where it is frequently cultivated. Bambusa balcooa is also cultivated in many other countries of South-East and East Asia, and in tropical Africa and Australia.