A Half-yearly Peer Reviewed Journal of Bangladesh Forest Research Institute

ISSN - Print: 1021-3279 | Online: -

Dendrocalamus hamiltonii and Schizostachyum dullooa are the two
important threatened bamboo species of Bangladesh. They flowered gregariously during 1996 to 1998 and 1999 at the bambusetum of Bangladesh Forest
Research Institute,Chittagong and RangapaniTeaEstate, Hazarikhil, Chittagong
respectively. The flowering cyclesfor D. hamiltonii were estimated as 43 + 5 years
and for S. dullooa as 45 + 2, 35 + 2 and 15 + 2 years. Observations were made on
flowering nature, death and seed characters of these species. The germination
and seedling characters were also recorded. Planta tions of both the species were
raised with seedlings by the Forest Department and the NGOs. In future these
will be used as ex situ conservation plots.


The life cycle of Melocanna baccifera (Roxb.) Kurz plant ends with flowering, so the
species is a semelparous in nature. In a population flowering is initially sporadic which
gradually becomes gregarious and then again turns into sporadic before mass scale
death of the clumps. The flowering continues in a specific direction like a “wave”, with
a period of 12 to 14 years or more, spreading over the whole forest area. Details of
inflorescence character, flowering nature, anthesis and fruiting behaviour have been
discussed. Unlike most other bamboos, this species produces fleshy green pear-shaped
fruits (seeds). The “seed” viability and germination pattern were studied. The problem
and management system of natural regeneration after the death of flowering clumps
were also discussed.
It was estimated that the species exhibited more than one flowering cycle
(interseeding period) in different localities of Bangladesh-India-Myanmar region. Some
populations have 30-35 years of flowering cycle, and others may have further longer (45,
60,65 years) or shorter (7-10,19-21,25,26,27 years) duration. It appears that there exists
a number of flowering population in the region and they might be isolated from each
other by reproductive time. In the boundary areas, however, populations are likely to
overlap with each other and some of the clumps may flower after shorter, and others
after longer periods or in between. Enormous genetic variabilities arc expected within
this vast natural habitat due to such diversities in flowering cycle that offers opportunities
for selection and improvement of the species.

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