Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Bambusa vulgaris Schrad. ex J. C. Wendl., 1810

Species:B. vulgaris
Common Names:Common bamboo, Buloh Minyak, Buloh Kuning


The culms are erect, large, of up to 20 m tall and 10 cm thick at the base. The nodes are prominent, the lower ones often with a ring of adventitious roots and the internodes up to 45 cm long and with dark hairs when young and waxy scales when mature. The culm sheaths are up to 30 cm long, usually shorter and densely covered when young with black hairs. The leaf blades are bright yellow, turning brown with age, 30 x 4 cm, with a short stalk, small auricles and a ligule of about 2 mm long. The blade has prominent, 1 cm long auricles whose margins have stout, incurved 7 mm long bristles. The spikelets are up to 3.5 x 0.5 cm, each with 5-10.

Read more about the Poales order.
Read more about the Poaceae family.


Originating from the Old World Tropics, this bamboo is found throughout the tropics and subtropics.


MacRitchie Reservoir, Pulau Semakau, Pulau Tekong, Pulau Ubin, Singapore Botanic Gardens

Locality Map

General Biology

This is the commonest bamboo throughout Southeast Asia.

Human Uses

The culms are used in boats for masts, rudders, outriggers and boating poles. They are also used as carrying poles, for fencing and props. The furniture industry makes use of a good amount of the culms as is the paper industry, as bamboos give good quality pulp. In Irian Jaya, the culms are used as penis gourds, commoly known as koteka. The young shoots are edible but seldom seen in the market.


Duistermaat, H., 2005. Field guide to the grasses of Singapore (Excluding the bamboos). Gardens’ Bulletin Singapore Supplement 57. 176 pp. 

Gilliland, H. B., 1971. A revised floras of Malaya. Vol. III Grasses of Malaya. Botanic Gardens Singapore. 319 pp.

Henderson, M. R., 1954. Malayan wild flowers - Monocotyledons. Malayan Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur. 357 pp.

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