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

ISSN - Print: 1021-3279 | Online: -

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.


In November 1989 two clumps of Thyrsostachys regia (Munro) Bennet (T. siamensis
Kurz ex Gamble) flowered in Bangladesh Forest Research Institute Bambusetum,
Chittagong. Flowering was of gregarious type and the clumps died after flowering.
Floral buds bloomed after 4-5 weeks of their initiation. There are two florets in a
spikelet and the flowers are protandrous. Anthesis generally occurred in the morning
and occasionally in the afternoon. Anther dehiscence started at noon and continued
for the whole afternoon. When in full bloom two bee species (Apis dorsata and an
unidentified one) were found to visit the flowers. Fruits matured after 60-70 days of
blooming. Squirrels and three bird species, Lonchura punctulata, L. striata and
L. malabarica) were found to feed on matured seeds.

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