The different species of Bambusa may be conveniently distributed in three sections.
I. Asiatic Bamboos, with the Flowers either in Spikes or Panicles.
1. B. arundinacea, Roxburgh. Spiny. Leaves very narrow, covered with asperities on the margin and upper surface. (Called Bans in Bengal.)- Common in rich, moist soil, among the mountains of India. The stems grow in clusters, from 10 to 100, from the same root-stock, and are straight for 18 or 20 feet. When in flower it is usually destitute of leaves, and as the extremity of every ramification is covered with blossom, the whole tree seems one entire immense panicle. Its seeds are used as rice. Tabasheer is found in its joints.
2. B. stricta, Roxb. Somewhat spiny. Flowers in extremely compact whorls. Said to be a smaller species than the last : it grows in a drier situation, has a much smaller cavity, and is very straight. Its great strength, solidity, and straightness render it much fitter for many uses. From this the shafts of latices are made in India.
3. B. rulgaris, Wendl. Not spiny ; leaves very narrow, covered at the edge and on the upper surface with asperities. Found in the East Indies, whence it is thought to have been carried to the West. Its stems are from 20 to 30 feet long, and as thick as a child's arm.
4. B. spinosa, Iloxb. Strongly armed with both single and com pound spines ; leaves very narrow, rarely more than six inches long. (Behor Bans, in Bengal.) Common about Calcutta, and in the south of India, forming an impenetrable jungle; also often cultivated round Indian villages. It has a smaller hollow than most of the others, and is consequently stronger than many of them. Dr. Roxburgh describes it as rising in such dense tufts as to appear like a single trunk at some distance ; and by help of their spiny branched so bound together that it is a most arduous task to cut down an old clump of them. The stems are from 30 to 50 feet long.
5. B. nth/a, Roxb. Not spiny ; leaves broad, rounded or heart shaped at the base. (Tulda Bans in Bengal ; Peke Bans of the Ilindoos.) Common all over Bengal. Its growth is so rapid that the
stems, which are sometime' as much as 70 feet long and 12 inches in circumference, rise to their full height in about 30 days. Beforo their lateral shoots are formed, they'are described as resembling fishing-rods of immense size. The young thick shoots, when about two feet high, are tender, and form an excellent pickle. It is chiefly used for scaffolding and for covering the house' of the natives ; it is found to last much longer if steeped in water some time before being used. Of this species Dr. Roxburgh mentions several varieties. Iowa Bans is a larger variety, with longer and thicker joints ; Basini Bans has a larger cavity, and is chiefly used to make baskets. .Behoor Bans is of a small size, very solid and strong, much bent to one side, and armed with numerous strong thorns. A staff of it is placed in the hand of every young Brahmin when invested with the sacerdotal robe. It is probably a distinct epecies.
6. B. Balcooe, Roxb. Not spiny ; leaves narrow, heart-shaped at the base. (Balcoo Bans in Bengal.) A native of Beugal, and even more gigantic than the last. It is reckoned by the workers in bamboo the very beet for building purposes. Previously to being used, it is immersed in water for a, considerable time. Two varieties are distin guished Dhooli Balcoo, the larger, and Balcoo Bans, which is smaller and stronger, with a less cavity.
7. B. Blumeana, Schultes. Armed with triple recurred spines : leaves very narrow, quite smooth, suddenly tapering into a short stalk. A native of Java. Stems about as thick as a child's arm.
S. B. ayrestis, Poir. Stems crooked, at the lower part very spiny ; leaves narrow, small, smooth. On mountains, and in dry and desert place' in all China and Cochiu China ; it is common also in various islands in the Malay Archipelago. Its crooked sometimes creeping stems and rugged aspect distinguish it. The trunk is a foot thick, and the joints (wo presume near the base) a foot and a half long, and often nearly solid.