Rare Nagaland bamboo settles well in Wagamon

Samples of Chimonobambusa callosa were collected from Jotsoma, above Kohima, from a height of 1,400 metres above mean sea level (msl) in February 2019.  

A rare bamboo from Nagaland in northeast India has found a second home in picturesque Wagamon in Idukki district of Kerala, courtesy a conservation programme of the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute (JNTBGRI).

The bamboo species, Chimonobambusa callosa, appeared to have adapted well to its new environment at the Wagamon orchidarium of the Kerala Forest Development Corporation (KFDC), JNTBGRI director R. Prakashkumar told The Hindu. An eastern Himalayan hill bamboo from the Indo-China region, Chimonobambusa callosa can grow to a height of five to 10 metres.

The bambusetum at the JNTBGRI campus at Palode, Thiruvananthapuram, boasts a rich collection of bamboos, but finding a suitable home for the guest from Nagaland was easier said than done. JNTBGRI researchers had collected samples of the species from Jotsoma, above Kohima, from a height of 1,400 metres above mean sea level (msl) in February 2019. Attempts to grow the bamboo in Palode soon ran into difficulties.

“Since the JNTBGRI campus is only 150-200 metres above sea level, the plant remains stunted and approached a possible degeneration,” noted Dr. Prakashkumar. Disappointed with the trial, JNTBGRI officials took up the matter with KFDC and samples were packed off to the orchidarium at Wagamon in December 2020.

“Wagamon is situated at 1,200 metres above sea level. By April, 2021, the bamboo plant had acclimatised well to the new habitat, regained its vigour and showed active growth,” Dr. Prakashkumar said.

In its efforts to conserve the species, JNTBGRI has also heeded the United Nations call for ecosystem restoration, he said. JNTBGRI has plans to propagate the bamboo species in Kerala, given its soil-binding abilities. A long-rhizomed spreading bamboo, Chimonobambusa callosa is ideal for soil protection. Characterised by straight, green culms, with rings of thorns adorning the nodes, the bamboo also has ornamental value, according to the botanic garden.

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Printable version | Oct 18, 2021 11:30:18 PM |

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