Bamboo orchid

Family • Orchidaceae - Arundina graminifolia (D.Don) Hochr.

Scientific names

Arundina graminifolia (D.Don) Hochr.
Arundina bambusifolia Lindl.
Cymbidium bambusifolia Roxb.

Common names

Bamboo orchid (Engl.)
Bird orchid (Engl.)

Other vernacular names

FRENCH: Orchidée bambou.
MALAY: Orkid buluh.


Arundina graminifolia is a tall terrestrial herb, with erect stems up to 3 meters high. Leaves are borne in two ranks, linear-lanceolate and grass-like, 12 to 30 centimeters long, 1.5 to 2.5 centimeters wide. Simple terminal Inflorescence may be branched, 15 to 30 centimeters long. Flowers are purple red, pink to white, up to 10 centimeters across. Sepals and petals are similar, white, overspread with pink, the lip is large, darker than the sepals and petals, veined magenta with a yellow to orange-yellow patch at the base.

– Cultivated in gardens.
– Grows well in the Baguio area.
– Also occurs in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, China, Japan, Taiwan, Malaya and Java.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Chemical constituents from the rhizoma of Arundina graminifolia / China journal of Chinese materia medica / 2004-Feb; vol 29 (issue 2) : pp 147-9

(2) Inherited Folk Pharmaceutical Knowledge of Tribal People in the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Bangladesh / Animesh Biswas, M A Bari, Mohashweta Roy, and SK Bhadra / Indian Journ of Traditional Knowledge • Vol 9 (1), Jan 2010, pp 77-89

(3) Cytotoxic Deoxybenzoins and Diphenylethylenes from Arundina graminifolia / Qiu-Fen Hu, Bin Zhou, Yan-Qing Ye, Zhi-Yong Jiang, Xiang-Zhong Huang, Yin-Ke Li, Gang Du, Guang-Yu Yang *, and Xue-Mei Gao * / J. Nat. Prod., 2013, 76 (10), pp 1854–1859 / DOI: 10.1021/np400379u

(4) A NEW STILBENOID FROM ARUNDINA GRAMINIFOLIA/ MEI-FENG LIU, YUN HAN, DONG-MING XING, YUE SHI, LI-ZHEN XU, LI-JUN DU and YI DING* / Journal of Asian Natural Products Research, September 2004, Vol. 6 (3), pp. 229–232

(5) Two New Diphenylethylenes from Arundina graminifolia and Their Cytotoxicity / Yin-Ke Li et al / Bull. Korean Chem. Soc. 2013, Vol. 34, No. 11 3257

(6) Antitumoral bibenzyl derivatives from tuber of Arundina graminifolia / Liu Meifeng, LV Haoran, Ding Yi / China Journal of Chinese Materia Medica

(7) Study on the Antioxidant Activities of Arundina Graminifolia Dai Medicines / Wang Xuemei1 Zhang Jiansheng, Gao Yuntao / Journal of Yunnan Nationalities University(Natural Sciences Edition), 2009-02

• Study isolated five compounds: (2E)-, 2-propenoic acid, 3-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxyphenyl)-decosyl ester, p-hydroxybenzyl alcohol, triacontanol and p-hydroxybenzylethyl ether, 3-hydroxy-5-methoxybibenzyl.
• Phytochemistry: benzyldihydrophenanthrene, arundinaol, stilbenoid arundinan and phenanthrene constituents.
• Contains tannin, saponin and heptacosane.
• From the rhizome, a benzyledihydrophenanthrene.
• Study isolated a novel stilbenoid, arundinan (2-( p-hydroxybenzyl)-3-hydroxy-5-methoxybibenzyl).

• Considered antibacterial, antitumor, antidotal.

Parts utilized
Rhizomes, roots, stem, leaves, juice.

• No reported folkloric medicinal use in the Philippines.
• In India, scrapped bulbous stem applied on heels to treat cracks.
• Leaves, root and juice used for ear pain and rheumatism.
• In traditional Chinese medicine, used as antidote and demulcent.
• In Bangladesh, roots used for snakebite and intestinal biliary colic. Leaves, roots, and juice used for ear pain and rheumatism.
• Roots and stems use for jaundice, beriberi edema, abdominal pain, snake bites, carbuncles and sores.

Study Findings
• Arundinaol: A novel benzyldihydrophenanthrene named aundinaol was isolated from the rhizome of AG.
• Cytotoxicity against Five Cancer Cell Lines: Study isolated eight new C-4 alkylated deoxybenzoins, three new diphenylethylenes, and five known diphenylethylenes. Evaluated for cytotoxicity, compounds 4, 5, and 9-11 showed significant cytotoxicity against five cancer cell lines.
• Diphenylethylenes / Anticancer:Study of Arundina graminifolia isolated two new dephenylethylenes, gramniphenols H and I (Compounds 1 and 2), together with six known diphenylethylenes. Compounds 1 and 2 were evaluated for cytotoxicity against five human tumor cell lines. Compound 1 showed cytotoxicity against PC3 cells, while compound 2 showed cytotoxicity against NB4 and PC3 cells.
• Bibenzyl Derivatives / Anti-Tumor Activity: Study isolated bibenzyl derivatives from the tuber of Arundina graminifolia. Compound 3 with bibenzyl ring opening exhibited stronger anti-tumor activity than compounds 1 and 2 with bibenzyl ring closing.
• Antioxidant: Study investigated the scavenging effects of Arundina graminifolia on active oxygen species OH and O2 generated by Fenton reaction and riboflavin photosensitization. Results suggest AG showed significant scavenging and antioxidant activity.

Ornamental cultivation.