Botanical name: Bambusa balcooa
Common names: Baluka, Giant Bamboo, Giant Grass
Native to: India
Habitat: Warm, temperate regions
Description: A fast grower, this clumping bamboo species reaches heights of 25 m. It has strong, hollow stems about 15 cm wide. Baluka leaves are bright green, narrow and appear in fronds.
Most bamboos flower infrequently with 30 to 120 year intervals. Like many bamboos, Baluka exhibits gregarious flowering – flowering which occurs in waves across an entire region over a number of years. Due to its rare flowering, the species does not spread quickly.
Producing strong, straight poles, Baluka is widely used in basketry, crafts, furniture and house construction in Vietnam, Indonesia and India.
At the Zoo: Unlike other bamboos, this species is not used to feed Zoo animals. It is found opposite the Penguin Plunge, outside the Nocturnal House and bordering the cafe.