Chao Chi-Son, Chu Cheng-De, Hsiung Wen-Yue
1980, 18 (1): 20–36
The bamboos of China have been studied by some botanists both at home and abroad,
who paid rather less attention to a thoroughly systematic study than to describing new species
or new genera. In the course of our study, we found, some taxinomical mistakes that have
thrown the classification of bamboos into a great confusion. A species, for example, placed in
a wrong genus, or a genus contained some taxonomically divergent species which in fact belong
to different genera.
This paper is a revision of the bamboo classification including some genera and species
which occur in China and have been mistreated taxonomically.
Based on comparative morphology, we first propose to unite Yushania Keng f. with Sinarundinaria Nakai. According to Keng f. (1957), a sympodial rhizome with diageotropical
growth and scattered culms is a main feature distinguishing Yushania from Sinarundinaria, a
treatment which was supported and cited subsequently by W. L. Li (1963) and F. A.
McClure (1957, 1973) in their studies. In fact,the rhizome of the genus Sinarundinaria has
never been critically studied in detail. Nakai (1935) described it as a monopodial type from
carelessness, while most botanists asserted it to be an amphipodial one. We have carefully examined numerous specimens of the type species of Sinarundinaria Nakai (i. e. S. nitida (Mitf.)
Nakai) collected from Sichuan, Shaanxi, Gansu provinces where it occurs naturally, and discovered that its rhizome is a sympodial type with diageotropical growth, too, identical with that
of the superfluous Yushania Keng f. Thus, Yushania must be united with Sinarundinaria.
In E. Asia, alpine bamboos with sympodial rhizomes, scattered culms and short infloresce nces enclosed in spathes have been separately placed in such genera as Arundinaria Michaux
(Hackel, 1887; Gamble, 1893), Thamnocalamus Munro (Munro, 1868; E. G. Camus,
1913), Fargesia Franch. (Franchet, 1893; E. G. Camus 1913; Nakai, 1925; Keng and
Keng f. 1957, 1959) and Sinarundinaria Nakai (Keng and Keng f. 1957, 1959). After a
careful examination of the specimens from various regions we are sure that they belong to a
natural group with common characters of the genus Thamnocalamus Munro. Consequently Fargesia Franch. should be combined with Thamnocalamus Munro.
We also examined some of the type specimens and original descriptions of 9 species of
Semiarundinaria collected from S. China and described in 1940 by McClure. A conclusion
reached is that all these species are not true Semiarundinaria Makino ex Nakai; most of them
should be transferred to Arundinaria Michaux, the rest to Sinobambusa Makino ex Nakai, and
We also agree with the view of some botanists that the genus Sasamorpha Nakai should
be combined with the genus Sasa Makino et Shibata.
In addition, we have emended and recircumscribed the concepts of some genera, such as
Indocalamus and Sinarundinaria which are confused by Nakai himself, and make them morenatural. We have also disclaimed 5 specific binomials, transferred 7 species, and described 7 new species which belong to 5 genera separately.