The Bambusoideae in India: An Updated Enumeration
Bamboo a giant, fast-growing, wood like grass appears to be the most successful and diverse conspicuous group of plants belonging to the sub family Bambusoideae of Poaceae. Bamboos have strong adaptability and are distributed widely in varied habitats. They are one of the earth’s oldest and most precious plant materials and have benefited human societies since time immemorial. They form an important group of plants that play a vital role in the economy and life of the people in many Asian, African and American countries. Bamboos play a key role in the rural economy of India. Due to the special physical characteristics attributed to bamboo, it has a glorious past and a promising future as part of the solution to 21st century challenges. Globally, bamboo is being targeted for livelihood development and alleviation of both environment and social problems in such a way that it can rightly be called the plant of the century.
Taxonomically, bamboos are considered as one of the most difficult group of plants to identify. Despite of immense resources, its importance and species specific uses, taxonomy of Indian Bamboos is still incomplete. Many of the Indian species lack full description and are either partially known or misidentified due to lack of subject expertise. Different workers treat species differently which has resulted into ambiguous report of generic and infrageneric taxa. An updated account of the bamboos found or reported from India is presented here after an extensive taxonomic study of these valuable natural resources of our country.
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