Muli Bamboo
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Muli Bamboo
ative Photo: Vinod Yadav
Common name: Muli Bamboo, Pear Bamboo, Berry bamboo, Terai bamboo • Assamese: তৱাঈ Tavai • Bengali: বিশ Bish, মেটুংগা Metungaa, মূলী Mulii, Paiyya, Payu tullu • Hindi: Mautak, ताड़ी Taadii , Tarai, Tari • Manipuri: মৌবী Moubi • Naga: Turiah • Nepali: Philim bans, lahure bans • Mizo: Mautak
Botanical name: Melocanna baccifera    Family: Poaceae (Grass family)
Synonyms: Bambusa baccifera, Melocanna baccifera, Melocanna bambusoides

Muli Bamboo is a bamboo found in abundance in NE India. The flowering of Muli bamboo is an event of great significance. Large tracts of land are affected, as bamboo forests burst into bloom and then die. Significant increases in rodent populations have been reported in the past, in response to the increase in food supply as a result of seed setting. It is an evergreen bamboo, with clump diffuse. Stems (stems) are 10-20 m tall, 3-7 cm diameter, green when young, straw coloured when old, longest internodes being 20-25 cm long. Stem-sheaths are 10-15 cm long, yellowish green when young and yellowish brown on maturity, brittle, striate, truncate or concave at the tip, hairless or sparsely with whitish appressed hairs on the back. Young are shoots smooth, light purple or purplish green, ligule with long hairs, soon falloing off, blades linear, green. Leaves are 15-30 cm long, 2.5-5 cm broad, oblong lanceolate, tip long-pointed. Leaf sheath is thick, ligulate. Ears very small with silvery bristles. Inflorescence is a large compound panicle of one-sided drooping, spicate branches, bearing clusters of 3-4 spikelets in the axils of short, blunt, glabrous bracts, empty glumes 2-4. This fruit is very large caryopsis, fleshy, pear-shaped, the stalk is inserted at the thick end and the apex terminates in a curved beak. Muli Bamboo can be recognised easily by diffused clump habit, having stem-sheath straight for about two-third of the way up, then once or twice transversely waved with subulate flagelliform blade.

Identification credit: Amit Kumar Photographed in Forest Research Institute, Dehradun.

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