Arundinaria simonii (Carr.) A. & C. Rivière
Arundinaria simonii (Carr.) A. & C. Rivière forma variegata (Hook. f.) RehderArundinaria simonii (Carr.) A. & C. Rivière var. variegata Hook. f.Bambusa simonii Carr.Bambusa viridistriata Regel.Nippocalamus simonii (Carr.) NakaiPleioblastus simonii (Carr.) Nakai
arundinaria reed, bamboo, invasive bamboo, medake, medake bamboo, Simon bamboo, Simon bitter bamboo, Simon cane-bamboo
Gramineae (South Australia)Poaceae (Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory)
Native to southern and western Japan (i.e. western Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku).
Occasionally cultivated as an ornamental bamboo. A form with leaves that have streaked with white bands of variable width (i.e. variegated leaves) is known as Arundinaria simonii forma variegata. This is the form that is thought to have become naturalised on Lord Howe Island. However, the foliage of plants in the naturalised population often seems to have reverted back to the typical form of this species, with entirely green leaves.
- a long-lived bamboo-like plant growing 3-6 m tall and spreading via creeping underground stems.
- its stems are quite thick with obvious joints, and the sections between the joints are hollow.
- its leaf blades are relatively narrow with parallel veins running lengthwise.
- there is a short stalk-like constriction at the base of the leaf blade, just above the leaf sheath.
- this species flowers quite rarely (i.e. usually at intervals several years apart).
Stems and Leaves
Its upright stems (i.e. culms) are quite robust and round in cross section (3-6 m tall and 2-3 cm thick). These stems have obvious joints (i.e. nodes) and the sections between them (i.e. the internodes) are hollow.
Its leaves consist of a leaf sheath, which partially encloses the stem, and a spreading leaf blade. The leaf blades (10-25 cm long and 1.5-2.5 cm wide) are relatively narrow in shape (i.e. linear, lanceolate or narrowly-oblong) with parallel veins running lengthwise (i.e. longitudinally). At the base of the leaf blade there is a short stalk-like constriction (i.e. a pseudo-petiole). These leaves are hairless (i.e. glabrous) and have entire margins with pointed tips (i.e. acute apices). The leaves are streaked with white bands of variable width (i.e. are variegated in appearance) in Arundinaria simonii forma variegata.
Flowers and Fruit
This species usually flowers at intervals of several years or more, but flowering can occasionally also be intermittent. The flower spikelets (3-11 mm long) are narrowly egg-shaped in outline (i.e. narrowly ovate) and are arranged into elongated or branched clusters (i.e. racemes or panicles). Each flower spikelet has two papery bracts (i.e. glumes) and several tiny flowers (i.e. florets). The bracts (i.e. glumes) are narrowly egg-shaped in outline (i.e. narrowly ovate) and about 15-16 mm long. Each of the florets consists of two bracts (i.e. a palea and lemma), three stamens and a style topped with three feathery stigmas.
Reproduction and Dispersal
Simon bamboo (Arundinaria simonii) is regarded as an environmental weed on Lord Howe Island. It was introduced to the island in the 1920&rsquos as a garden ornamental. However, once the garden it was planted in was no longer managed, it escaped and spread through the garden and into nearby natural areas. Extensive treatment of this weed occurred in the 1980’s, but once the treatment was stopped it didn t take long for the weed to spread again. Like other creeping bamboos, it forms dense clumps that shade out and replace native species. These dense stands have also made nesting and burrowing difficult for many bird species in infested areas.
Simon bamboo (Arundinaria simonii) is thought to represent a major threat to the flora and fauna of the World Heritage listed Lord Howe Island and it is being actively managed by volunteers with the aim of permanently eradicating it from the island. Its potential invasiveness, and the conservation significance of the island, has also led to it being declared as a noxious weed.
Simon bamboo (Arundinaria simonii) is similar to golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea ), black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra ) and giant reed (Arundo donax ). These species can be distinguished by the following differences:
- Simon bamboo (Arundinaria simonii) has green cylindrical stems without a groove running lengthwise between the stem joints (i.e. nodes). Its relatively small leaves (up to 20 cm long) have a short stalk-like (i.e. petiolate) constriction at the base of their leaf blades. Flowers are rarely produced.
- golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea ) has greenish-yellow or golden coloured mature stems with a distinctive groove running lengthwise between the stem joints (i.e. nodes). Its relatively small leaves (up to 15 cm long) have a short stalk-like (i.e. petiolate) constriction at the base of their leaf blades. Flowers are very rarely produced.
- black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra ) has blackish or purplish-black coloured mature stems with a distinctive groove running lengthwise between the stem joints (i.e. nodes). Its relatively small leaves (up to 12 cm long) have a short stalk-like (i.e. petiolate) constriction at the base of their leaf blades. Flowers are very rarely produced.
- giant reed (Arundo donax ) has green cylindrical stems without a groove running lengthwise between the stem joints (i.e. nodes). Its very large leaves (up to 80 cm long) are not constricted at the base of the leaf blade. Flowers are regularly borne in very large, feathery, whitish coloured open panicles at the tops of the stems (i.e. culms).
Simon bamboo (Arundinaria simonii) is also relatively similar to several other species of cultivated bamboos (Bambusa spp.), however these species can usually be distinguished by their more robust stems (more than 3 cm across) and by the fact that they do not produce long creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes).
This species is declared under legislation in the following states and territories:
- New South Wales: Class 3 - a regionally controlled weed. The relevant local control authority must be promptly notified of the presence of this weed and it must be fully and continuously suppressed and destroyed (on Lord Howe Island only).
- Western Australia: Unassessed - this species is declared in other states or territories and is prohibited until assessed via a weed risk assessment (throughout the entire state).
Anonymous (2002). A Global Compendium of Weeds. http://www.hear.org/gcw. Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project and Department of Agriculture - Western Australia.
Anonymous (2006). Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, National Genetic Resources Program, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beltsville, Maryland, USA.
Anonymous (2006). Pleioblastus simonii (Carr.) Nakai. Simon bamboo. Plants Profile. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PLSI2. Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Anonymous (2007). NSW Department of Primary Industries. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Orange, New South Wales.
Anonymous (2007). Weeds Australia. http://www.weeds.org.au. National Weeds Strategy Executive Committee, Launceston, Tasmania.
Green, P. (1994). Flora of Australia, Volume 49, Oceania Islands 1. Australian Biological Resources Study and CSIRO Publishing, Canberra, ACT.
Jacobs, S.W.L. and Hastings, S.M. (2007). Arundinaria. New South Wales Flora Online. PlantNET - The Plant Information Network System of Botanic Gardens Trust. http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au. Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust, Sydney, New South Wales.
Lazarides, M., Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO Handbook of Australian Weeds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria.
Navie, S.C. (2004). Declared Plants of Australia. CD-ROM. The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Brisbane, Queensland.
Watson, L. and Dallwitz, M.J. (1999). Grass Genera of the World: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval; including Synonyms, Morphology, Anatomy, Physiology, Phytochemistry, Cytology, Classification, Pathogens, World and Local Distribution, and References. http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta.