Here's a picture of some bamboo about 15 miles from where I live on the western edge of the North Carolina Piedmont.
Nice bamboo. Do you know what kind it is? Perhaps Moso?
Yes, pretty sure it's moso.
The culms on the left look like Henon, but the one the little girl is hugging and the one behind her look like Moso.....maybe two different kinds?
Is Henon the same as bambusoides?
No, Henon is P. nigra Henon, a form of black bamboo but does not get black. P. bambusoides is called "Giant Japanese Timber' Bamboo.
Henon has the darker rings at the nodes and the whitish color on the culms. The larger culms looks more like Moso.
All three are considered timber bamboos along with a few others.
This post was edited by kentuck_8b on Mon, Nov 25, 13 at 20:28
I sure wouldn't know, particularly not from looking at a picture, but the only other bamboo I vaguely remember hearing about near the Moso was maybe bambusoides, but that may have all been further back and out of the picture.
Older culm on left looks like moso. If anyone remembers them being fuzzy, that would fit. Another distinctive feature is sprays of many small leaves in ~horizontal planes; P. bambusoides and P. vivax produce normally sized leaves, with those of the latter being on the large end of the range and borne in spectacularly lush and drooping plumes.
Not sure it's usual among bamboo people to consider any P. nigra a timber bamboo, no matter how big it is (otherwise any bamboo above a certain size may be called a timber bamboo, making the term somewhat meaningless). Henon bamboo is the wild green bamboo from which all colored stem variants including black bamboo are derived; many different combinations are seen when Henon bamboo flowers and new generations of seedlings, including among them colored stem variants occur.
My Moso bamboo culms keep the white ring at the nodes and never have gotten the dark rings as in the culms on the left.
According to Gib Cooper of Tradewinds Bamboo in Oregon, who is one of the leading bamboo experts in the USA and served as the Vice President of the ABS for 6 years, (Henon) is "a green form of Black bamboo that grows much larger with the older culms having a greenish-blue color. Excellent wood quality. The third most grown bamboo in Japan for timber..." There are a number of bamboos that are considered 'timber' bamboos. Timber bamboos refer to those bamboos used for building.
Hence, Henon is a form of black bamboo and is also considered a timber bamboo by most of the world.
My first opinion is that the culms in the photo are from the same plant but the dark rings never appear on mine. However, the culms on the left don't have quite the whitish color(wax) on the culms as my Henon have which make them gray colored.
"Is a form of black bamboo" is doubtless a reference to the inaccurate yet retained botanical naming convention of making P. nigra the species and P. nigra 'Henon' the cultivar. I seriously doubt if you asked him about it he would insist black bamboo was a wild parental species and Henon bamboo a garden form that existed only in cultivation.
And if, for some reason, he did so he would be wrong - something you can easily confirm for yourself by looking into the topic on your own. When Henon bamboo flowers black bamboo, Bory bamboo, Meguro bamboo and various other variants of Henon bamboo appear among the seedlings (or recovery growth) - some years ago there was a Japanese publication circulated that talked about and showed all the different, sometimes wild combinations of black or brown bands, stripes or spots that have resulted from the flowering of Henon bamboo.
Gib told me himself that Henon is considered a form of black bamboo, but he also said that some will tell you that it is the other way around, so as you said, it could be the other way around, which makes no difference to me, I was simply stating what was told.
The ABS lists Henon as a variety of P. nigra, but again, does it really matter? They are definitely different varieties and that is all that matters to a bamboo grower.
Just as some bamboos have the 'actual' name of 'timber' attached to them makes them no more a timber bamboo than many other large bamboos without the timber in their name. Many bamboo growers will consider timber bamboos to be any bamboo that grows over 40 or 45 feet in height, which to me is a stretch of the term, but there are dozens of timber bamboos out there which are all used in construction.
I guess everyone has their definition of each term used to describe the many varieties of bamboo.
The key point is that the old botanical naming is not in line with what they actually are, and has never been changed to reflect this. With golden, yellow-groove, the two popular variegated Pleioblastus and other habit or foliage variants also being named as species with botanical (instead of cultivar) names the situation with Phyllostachys nigra is far from unique.
Japanese references have in the past partly recognized the reality of the plant being a swollen node variant instead of a normal habit typical species by calling golden bamboo P. bambusoides var. aurea. Don't know if it belongs under P. bambusoides or not and if it does not occur wild it should be 'Aurea' instead of var. aurea, but those are side issues in this context.
"The common wild form of the species"
-- Hillier Nurseries 2002
"Phylogenetically, 'Henonis' is really the typical form of the species, but since it was discovered and named after P. nigra, under the rules of nomenclature it must be regarded as a cultivar"
-- David Crompton 2006
"No doubt this is the true biological species, but because the distinctive black-culmed variant, Phyllostachys nigra, was described and named first, 'Henon', the true species, has been relegated to the status of a variety or cultivar"
-- Ted Jordan Meredith 2009
It makes more sense, from my experience, that Henon would be the 'typical' form of the species, since anything black usually reproduces another form of black bamboo, but as you said, it was recognized first, so it(black) got the status of being the 'original' form of the species.
Again, I don't think that any backyard grower out there really cares about the genetic relation of one bamboo to another, though. They just want a beautiful bamboo in their yards to admire and enjoy.
I constantly see re-naming of bamboos which make it difficult sometimes for me to find a bamboo that I used to call one name, and now have to search to find what it is called now, so I think it will be quite a while before 'they' get each species and it's varieties in the 'correct' place.
Have A Happy Thankgiving.
What's funny is that so many bamboo variants are still named as though they were wild species - and there is this recurring statement in bamboo references that we are stuck with old, inapt species names for them due to taxonomic rules. Other groups of plants get renamed when new, clarifying information is presented - why do various bamboos have to be saddled with inappropriate species names long after it becomes clear they aren't, in fact wild species?
Especially in recent times, with all the shakeups resulting from plant DNA studies. Even before the genetic work started some plant species ended up with lists of synonyms going down to the floor, because of all the authors trying to rename them or sometimes naming them for the first time, without realizing it wasn't the first time.
This is why they have a rule that the first validly published name is the one that prevails, so people don't keep spuriously piling on names. But if somebody comes up with a legitimate argument for changing the name, then it can be changed. This is why there has been some of the changing of bamboo species names you mentioned - some bamboos that were named and described without flowers having been seen by western botanists have come into bloom, shown themselves to have been placed in the wrong genus. And so on - to me the obvious fact that a bamboo is not a wild species is also adequate grounds for changing its taxonomic placement.
This post was edited by bboy on Thu, Nov 28, 13 at 16:08
So what makes some of the taller bamboos less valuable as timber bamboo than other equally tall bamboos? Is it simply thickness of the culm wall? Is there some physical difference in the fibers making up the bamboo, and if so what's that?
Thanks in advance!
Probably the most-mentioned example is P. vivax and its thin-walled but otherwise large culms that break under snow loads - even in USDA 8. Otherwise it is superficially similar to P. bambusoides, and may be mistaken for it - anyone planting P. vivax in its place, to grow wood for construction would be in for a disappointing surprise later.
Some large bamboos such as some of the Guaduas are rot resistant, at least more so than other Timber bamboos, so this also makes the bamboo more expensive, but thinness of the culm walls is the biggest thing that devalues timber bamboo.
Is this called oldamii?