Thyrsostachys Oliveri, another of the few "Iron Bamboos", is native to the Thailand, South China and N.E India (Tripura area). It is one of the most important bamboo species, because of its near solid structure and fiber quality. Locally called the Kanak Kaich, its a fairly straight growing mid sized bamboo, with a small spread. Farmers in Katlamara in West Tripura cultivate this bamboo at close spacing of about 2.5 m x 2.5 m.

I found this IRON BAMBOO species interesting, due to its vigorous growth at a Nursery close to Dehradun. I have, thus planted a few in my little bambusarium, due to its possible applications in the handicraft sector.

Thyrsostachys oliveri is a short rhizomed, perennial, evergreen, clumping/sympodial tropical bamboo, with persistent culm-sheath, which is an identifying feature.

thyrsostachys oliveri consistent culm sheath

The almost straight/erect culms are about 15 - 25 m long; 50 - 70mm in dia and about 40 - 60cm internode.


As an iron bamboo, its valued as an excellent material for house-beams and miscellaneous applications in construction. The culms are used for reinforcing concrete blocks. Local craftsmen use this bamboo for handicrafts- mat-making, basketry, broom handles etc. Its fiber has a dark brown lustre, which makes it a material of choice for handicrafts. In Thailand, the young shoots are harvested for the production of steamed bamboo shoots.

Habitat : This species originates on the low hills forest, open areas at an altitudinal ranges of 500–700 m.

Distribution : Thailand, Myanmar, China - introduced and cultivated in tropical / subtropical Asia (Gamble, 1896; Wu, 2006).

Silvi-cultural management techniques Propagated through air-layering, culm cutting or offset planting.

Local Names :

Thailand;Phai ruak dam

Burma-Thanawa. Thyrsostachys Oliveri is a Native of Burma. (Nayagarh & Ganjam Districts)

Manipur- Keirakwa

Tripura- Kanak Kaich, Busai, Nusai, Nala Bauns