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
Picture of Mapuches using C. coleou as spear during a malón raid

Chusquea culeou (Spanish: caña coligüe or colihue) is a species of bamboo.


It is 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.


Chusquea culeou has hairy lanceolate leaves with 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.


Chusquea culeou is cultivated as an ornamental plant in gardens.

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

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