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Bambusa Textilis

Bambusa Textilis is the bamboo of choice for making pipes, 'Irish Whistles' or flutes.  Often it is sold under the name "Gracilis" which is the name of the B. Textilis cultivar that is most popular.

Here is foto of a stand of B. Textilis in a school garden.

You can see little of the culms [or canes]. Grass surrounds the base and it looks unloved and unlovely.  

Here from the side

I spent some time "editing" the clump.  Pruning in other words.

Here it is again.

Another shot.....

You can see that some of the grass has been removed.  All the branches up to 1metre from the gound have been trimmed.  The clump looks fresh and inviting.  Even pretty. 

How can you recognize B. Textilis Gracilis?  Here is a foto of the leaves showing the typical pattern of their growth.

Unfortunately nearly all bamboo plants have leaves look rather like this.

Another more useful comparison.  The branches spread from the node in a vary charactristic pattern.  This is similar to other bambus plants, but  characteristic of textilis.

Observe the three or four main branches flanked by numerous smaller ones making a rather untidy fan.

One other point of comparison is  a close examination of the "Culm Sheaths".  These cover the shoot when it first emerges, and surround the culm at each node as it grows.  Here is foto of the culm sheath on this textilis plant. 

Note the fine black hairs on this sheath. Very characteristic of Textilis Gracilis.

Bambusa Textilis [Gracilis] has very long "internodes".  This is the name used to describe the distance between one node and the next.  In Textilis this is often around 30cm, but in one plant I found a culm with some internode lengths of 60 cm.  50 cm is not rare.

Next post some fotos of processing the bamboo.

Cheers Chris the Pipemaker.

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