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Gigantochloa scortechinii Gamble

Gigantochloa scortechinii Gamble





Vernacular Names

Peninsular Malaysia Buloh semantan, buloh telor, buloh rayah (var. scortechinii); buloh seremai (var. albovestita).
Indonesia Buluh kapal (Sumatra).

Geographical Distributions

Gigantochloa scortechinii is found in Indonesia (Sumatra), central and northern Peninsular Malaysia and southern Thailand. At present, it has become naturalised and is found mostly in disturbed (logged-over) forests in the area. It is occasionally cultivated in and around villages and outside the area in botanical gardens.


G. scortechinii is a densely tufted and sympodial bamboo. The culm is erect that can reach up to 20 m tall, measuring up to 12(-20) cm in diametre, with a wall is 5-10 mm thick that is covered with a fine white waxy powder when young and bright green when old. The internodes measure up to about 60 cm long and the basal ones are with light green stripes.

The branches arise from the midculm node upward with the primary and secondary ones. The culm sheath is 15-25 cm long, light orange, covered with appressed black hairs and not easily deciduous. The blade spreads to reflexed, lance-shaped, measuring 9-13 cm x 1-3 cm, leaf-like, light green and much narrower than the top of the sheath. The ligule is dentate or deeply incised, ending in bristles and measures up to 9 mm long. The auricles form a low dark green rim along the apex sheath and sometimes terminated by a few bristles. The young shoots are light orange with light green blades that covered with appressed dark hairs.

The leaf-blade is 20-30 cm x 2-3 cm and soft hairy on the lower surface. The sheath is hairy. The ligule is 2 mm long and sometimes bears bristles. The auricles are small, measure 1 mm long and with a few bristles measure up to 6 mm long.

The inflorescences are borne on leafless branch and bear at the nodes head-like clusters of pseudospikelets that measure about 5 cm apart. Each cluster is with 2-5 large fertile pseudospikelets that mixed with a few small sterile ones. The spikelet is ovoid to oblongoid, flattened, measuring 18-20 mm x 5-6 mm, with a densely yellow-brown hairy or velvety, consists of 2-3 empty glumes but then 3-5 of perfect florets and terminates with an imperfect floret.

The caryopsis is ellipsoidal and hairless but hairy at the truncate top.

Ecology / Cultivation

In Peninsular Malaysia, natural forests of G. scortechinii occurs up to 1000 m altitude but best at altitudes between 400-800 m. The annual mean maximum temperature is about 32°C while the mean minimum temperature is 22°C. The annual rainfall is about 2500 mm and quite evenly distributed over the year. G. scortechinii will grow in any soil type but does best on sandy loams with a good drainage and a pH of 5.0-6.5. It thrives well in ravines, gulleys and logged-over areas and is quite aggressive when it is exposed to sunlight.

Line Drawing / Photograph



  1. Plant Resources of South-East Asia No. 7: Bamboos.

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