A genus of about forty species of evergreen bamboos, distributed from Mexico and the West Indies to Chile and Argentina. Many of the species from the Andes, especially those from high elevations and from Chile and Argentina, will probably prove hardy in the southern parts of the British Isles, but up to the present only one appears to be growing successfully in S. England. The hardy species are similar to Arundinaria in habit, having woody, cylindrical, jointed and solid or hollow stems, branching profusely at the joints, especially in the upper part, with flat, linear to lanceolate, stiff leaf-blades which finally disarticulate from their sheaths. Chusquea has a single fertile flower in each spikelet whereas in Arundinaria there are generally several to many flowers in each spikelet.
Contributed by Dr C. E. Hubbard.
For the following supplementary information we are indebted to David McClintock personally, and to his treatment of the genus in The European Garden Flora, Vol. II, Part II, pp. 64-5 (1984).