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Clump forming.Culms erect. Branch bud solitary at culm nodes. Culm sheaths generally with 2 lateral auricles except a few, blades broadly ovate to ovate-elongate. Flowering branches generally leafless, sometimes leafy. Inflorescence a pseudo-spikelet, 2-many flowered, terminating in an uppermost imperfect floret, rachilla jointed. Lemma many-veined. Palea 2-keeled. Lodicules 2-3, usually fringed. Stamens 6, filaments free. Ovary generally hairy at apex, stigmas 1-3, hairy. Fruit a caryopsis, cylindrical with a hairy top, slightly grooved onpaleaside 

Key to the species

Serial Key Reference
1a Culms with stiff spines to the branches. Spines always in 3s, branches from midculm always horizontal. Pseudospikelets flattened Bambusa bambos
1b Culms with no spine 2
2a Culms shrubby, up to 5 m tall; culmsheath and blade glabrous Bambusa multiplex
2b Culms arborescent 3
3a Culms glabrous or with white floury powdery blooms when young 4
3b Culms scabrid or pubescent 7
4a A wide distinct transverse band of brown pubescence either above or below he node towards lower culm 5
4b No tranverse distinct band of brown pubescence is present either above or below the node of the culm 6
5a Nodes uniform, almost as widw as the internode,generally branches from lower nodes; anther tip penicillate Bambusa nutans
5b Nodes annulate, wider than the internode, at least few culms are kinked towards lower nodes in each culm; anther tip obtuse Bambusa tulda
6a Culms glossy green, no powdery blooms; internode distinctly sulcated; auricles of almost equal size; pseudospikelets bifurcate Bambusa vulgaris
6b Culms dull green; white powdery blooms at least when young; internodes not distinctly sulcated; auricles unequal, smaller one erect erect and on the sheath top, larger one decurrent with blade base; pseudospikelets not bifurcate Bambusa burmanica
7a Matured culms scabrid, young with silvery brown pubescence; branch bud broadly triquetrous, unkeeled; culmsheath without auricles; branchlets towards lower nodes become recurved, slender spinscent Bambusa balcooa
7b Culms pubescent; branch bud ovate, laterally keeled; culmsheaths distinctly auricled; branchlets not spinescent Bambusa polymorpha