Chusquea culeou

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Chusquea culeou
Chusquea culeou-colehual.JPG
Colehual, colihues' bush in San Fabián de Alico.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Subfamily: Bambusoideae
Genus: Chusquea
Species: C. culeou
Binomial name
Chusquea culeou
Desvaux.
Picture of Mapuches using C. coleou as spear during a malón raid

Chusquea culeou (Spanish: caña coligüe or colihue) is a perennial bamboo, native to the Valdivian rainforests, humid temperate forests of Chile and southwestern Argentina. Unlike most species within the genus Chusquea, it is frost-tolerant and thus widely cultivated in temperate regions.

Its hairy lanceolate leaves have a spine on their end, and its flower is a whisk of light brown colour. The plant also produces a caryopsis fruit. After blooming and releasing its seeds, the plant dies. The cane is straight, of up to 6 metres in height, and was used by the Aboriginals for the pole of their spears. They are still used by the Mapuche people for a musical instrument known as trutruca.

A feature of this Chusquea is that the stems are solid, unlike most bamboos.

This plant has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[1]

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