The taxonomy of Himalayan bamboos has been neglected in the past because of their unpredictable flowering as well as their geographic and political inaccessibility. Recent awareness of the fragility of the Himalayan ecosystem, and the potential economic and conservational role of bamboos has highlighted this neglect. The introduction of various programs by the governments of Nepal and Bhutan to address their environmental problems has allowed the detailed study of many of their bamboos, in order to provide information of use to those implementing such programs. The opportunity to study live plants in their natural environments has allowed detailed morphological investigations to be undertaken, as well as the collection of much new herbarium material.
After investigating the boundaries between the Himalayan genera, it was possible to enumerate the species more effectively. The enumeration includes thirty species from Nepal, and twenty eight species from Bhutan, with a total of 42 species collected within the two countries. Of the forty two species encountered, only twenty eight seem to have published names. There would seem to be fourteen new species. Several other taxa can be satisfactorily placed within well known species, but it is felt necessary to distinguish them as they differ substantially from the type specimens of those species, and are consequently very difficult to identify. Therefore it is also considered necessary to describe four new subspecies and three new varieties. In addition rationalisation of the genera results in nine new combinations.
Stapleton, C.M.A. A morphological investigation of some Himalayan bamboos with an enumeration of taxa in Nepal and Bhutan. (1990) 218 pp. [PhD Thesis, University of Aberdeen]