Biodiv Sci ›› 2021, Vol. 29 ›› Issue (11): 1565-1575.  DOI: 10.17520/biods.2021193

• Bioinventory • Previous Articles    

The history and influence of bamboo collection and introduction from China by Floyd Alonzo McClure

Renwu Wu, Xinge Nan, Hai Yan, Fan Yang, Yan Shi, Zhiyi Bao()   

  1. College of Landscape Architecture, Zhejiang A&F University, Hangzhou 311300
  • Received:2021-05-14 Accepted:2021-06-25 Online:2021-11-20 Published:2021-11-12
  • Contact: Zhiyi Bao


Aim: Bamboo is one of the main collecting targets in China and has been widely introduced to the United States. Among the numerous collectors of bamboo, Floyd Alonzo McClure has made the biggest impact. During his research at Lingnan University from 1919 to 1940, he collected bamboo specimens and introduced bamboo to the United States many times. In order to understand the history of collection and introduction of plants from China to the United States, it is necessary to investigate the history of McClure’s collection and introduction of bamboo in China.
Method: We conducted an extensive review of the literature and collection archives to sort out the route, collection locations, and scientific names of bamboo collected by McClure. We analyzed the history of McClure’s research, collection and introduction of bamboo in China.
Results: During McClure’s research in China, there were a total of 12 provinces (39 prefecture-level cities), where bamboo was collected. Guangdong, Hainan, and Hong Kong were the locality where the most bamboo was collected. There were a total of 9 provinces and 25 prefecture-level cities where bamboo was introduced. Of these introduced bamboos, a total of 1,840 sheets and 727 numbers bamboo specimens were collected, belonging to 93 species from 20 genera (including subspecies units, the same below). This accounts for 58.8% of bamboo genera and 17.4% of bamboo species in China. A total of 255 bamboos were introduced, belonging to 77 species of 17 genera, accounting for 14.4% of the species and 50.0% of the genera in China, respectively.
Conclusions: McClure’s collection and introduction of bamboo in China was important for the development of bamboo taxonomy. The bamboo specimens collected by McClure were invaluable for subsequent bamboo research. The bamboo introduced by McClure greatly enriched bamboo species in the United States and also helped promote the application of bamboo in the United States.

Key words: China, The United States, bamboo, specimen collection, introduction history