Sri Lanka is home for 10 native bamboo species and 7 introduced bamboo species. This is as per research done by Soderstrom and Ellis 1998. The chart below gives the science of them.
Native and Introduced Bamboo Species in Sri Lanka
Source: Soderstrom and Ellis 1998
|Species||Local Name |
|* Arundinaria densifolia1||Bata|
|* A. debilis||Bata|
|* A. scandens||Bata|
|* A. floribunda||Bata|
|* A. walkeriyana|
|* Pseudoxytenanthera monadelpha||Bata|
|O Davidsea attenuate||Bata|
|* Ochlandra stridula Syn. O. talboti||Bata|
|* Dendrocalamus cinctus||-|
|* Bambusa bambos||Katu Una (Spiny bamboo)|
|Bambusa vulgaris||Kola Una (Green bamboo) |
Kaha Una/Rana Una (Yellow bamboo)
|Bambusa multiplex||Cheena Bata (Chinese bamboo)|
|Dendrocalamus giganteus||Yoda Una (Giant bamboo)|
|Dendrocalmus strictus||(Male bamboo)|
|Thyrsostachys siamensis Syn. T. regia||Siam bamboo (Thai/Male bamboo)|
* Endemic species; 'O' Endemic genus
1 Most of the Arundinaria sp. are now assigned to Sinarundinaria
It is seen that the yellow and the green varieties that we come across day to day are introduced in the country. The native bamboo is the smaller varieties that are mostly forest plants known as bata.
The native species Bambusa bambos known as Katu Una has historic legend. The Katu Una gove at Ruwanwell is centuries old and is protected by the Department of Archaeology; it is a thorn from this bamboo grove that pierced the foot of King Seethawaka Rajasinghe at the Pethangoda Royal Garden, while warring with the Portugese. The king is said to have succumbed to the injury as a result of infection caused.
Bambusa bambos Katu Una (Spiny bamboo)
However I am of the belief that there are more bamboo species introduced in the country since 1998. This species shown below that I photographed was at Ratganga - Ratnapura close in the vicinity of a concrete jungle that is being built for the modern day pilgrim known as Punchi - Dambadiva.
The natives call it Beeralu Una due to its clumpy formation. They were unable to explain of its occurrence in the area and also believe it to have been passed on as a ornamental garden plant