Fascinating Giant Cane Tree Facts (Arundinaria Giantea): Habitat, Characteristics and Ecology

Arundinaria gigantea

Arundinaria Giantea Cane is also called cane or switch cane. It is a giant cane known for providing summer grazing for hogs, cattle, horses, and sheep in the northern ranges and the winter grazing along the gulf coast in the United States. The grassy plant stems are often used for pipe stems, mats, baskets, and strong fishing poles.

The stalks of the Arundinaria Giantea Cane are stripped and dried into long lengths to create the material for the baskets and mats. The Native Americans have used woven baskets for carrying crops and plants for hundreds of years. The ancient techniques are still used as a treasure of the almost lost basket weaving styles.

The cane of the plant used for fishing poles is flexible and sturdy, allowing widespread uses and long-lasting fishing equipment. Like the modern-day cane poles, the Arundinaria Giantea Cane fishing poles are used by natives in the wilderness.

Let’s see some interesting facts about the Giant Cane.


This bamboo, a species of cane, is a perennial grass with a hollow, rounded stem that can exceed 2.8 in(7 cm) in diameter and grow to 33 ft (10 m). It grows from an extensive network of high rhizomes. The lance-shaped leaves are up to 12 in ( 30 cm) long and 1.6 in (4 cm) wide. The inflorescence is a panicle or raceme of spikelets measuring 1.6 to 2.8 inches (4 to 7 cm) in length. An individual cane has a lifespan of around ten years. Most reproduction is vegetative as the bamboo sprouts new stalks from its rhizome. It rarely drops seeds, and it flowers erratically. Sometimes it flowers rather gregariously. Some kinds of non-native bamboos are often confused with this brilliant native cane.

Habitat and ecology

This indigenous plant is a member of various plant communities today, usually occurring as a midstory or understory component. It grows in pine forests dominated by slash, loblolly, shortleaf, and longleaf pine and stands of cypress, oaks, cottonwood, and ash. Other plants in the understory include:

  • Inkberry (Ilex glabra).
  • Blue huckleberry (Gaylussacia frondosa).
  • Wax myrtle (Morella Cerifera).
  • Creeping Blueberry (Vaccinium crassifolium).
  • Pineland threeawn (Aristida stricta).
  • Cutover muhly (Muhlenbergia expansa).
  • Toothache grass (Ctenium aromaticum).
  • Little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium).

Cane communities occur on bogs, floodplains, pine barrens, riparian woods, and pocosins, and savannas. It grows quickly in saturated and flooded soils. It can easily tolerate wildfires, and canebrakes are maintained by a standard fire regime.

This cane is the exclusive food plant for the southern pearly eye, a butterfly. Canebrakes are an essential and important habitat for the Kentucky warblers and Swainson’s, hooded, as well as the famous white-eyed vireo. The canebrake ecosystem’s departure may have contributed to the possible extinction and rarity of the Bachman’s warbler, which was reliant upon it for nesting sites.

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