Friday, December 23, 2011

The HistoricThorny Bamboo of Pethangoda

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)
Dendrocalamus membranaceus Una
Dendrocalamus asper Una
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.

Beeralu Una 

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

1 comment:

  1. we have a proud to have heritages like these.