Jacksonville State University biology professor Jimmy Triplett has discovered a new species of native bamboo in Alabama.
Tallapoosa Cane, or Arundinaria alabamensis, is recognized as Alabama’s 31st endemic vascular plant and the fourth species of native bamboo in the U.S.
The new bamboo species helps shed light on the history of native bamboos in the Southeastern U.S. Tallapoosa Cane is found only in Alabama, and is the state’s fourth species of Arundinaria, ranking the state as no. 1 in native bamboo species. Triplett’s lab at JSU studies all aspects of plant biology, but especially the use of genetics to understand diversity and evolution.
“Our native bamboos are closely related to bamboos in East Asia and highlight an interesting distribution shared with plants like magnolias, dogwoods and ginsengs, which is explained by prehistoric land bridges between continents,” Triplett said.
Triplett was also involved in the discovery of Hill Cane, Arundinaria appalachiana, also found in Alabama.
Triplett is the curator of the JSU Herbarium, a regional natural history collection of more than 70,000 plant specimens.