Favorite Bamboos

(Well, really... these are just the ones we have...)


The phyllostachys aureosulcata and the pleioblastus viridi-striata planted outside are from local (Ithaca) nurseries. All other plants are from the New England Bamboo Company.

Plant descriptions and photos

The plant descriptions are mostly culled from the New England Bamboo Co catalog and from the english translation of Bamboos by Christine Recht and Max F. Wetterwald. The dimensions refer to mature plants in colder climates and the minimum temperatures indicate culm hardiness.

Note: all the thumbnails below lead to larger images-just click!

Bambusa multiplex "Alphons Karr"

Descriptions: "Canes are bright yellow with green stripes, dense branching on all nodes. New culms have pink blush when shooting". "Stately plant with typical `bamboo look', colored culms".
A.k.a. Bambusa glaucescens "Alphons Karr", "Golden Goddess".
Origin: China, clumping, height: 30', culm dia: 1.5", needs sun, T
min: 5F.

Fargesia Nitida

Description: "Culms are greenish purple the first year, maturing to deep purple the second year. The foliage weeps all the way to the ground like a fountain and leaf shape is more slender and graceful than F. Murielae. One of the hardiest bamboos, very slow to increase but worth the wait. Does not thrive in full sun. Beautiful as specimen or hedge".
A.k.a. Fountain Bamboo, Sinarundinaria nitida.
Origin: Himalayas, clump forming, height: 12', culm dia: 0.75", needs shade/light sun, T
min: -25F.

Otatea acuminata aztecorum

Description: "Long, fine, narrow leaves with dense arching culms. Considered one of the most beautiful of all the bamboos". "Very narrow leaves, soft appearance".
Origin: Mexico, clump forming, height: 20', culm dia: 1.5", needs partial shade, T
min: 15F.

Phyllostachys aureosulcata

Description: "A.k.a. yellow groove bamboo, Green culms with yellow grooves that grow in a zigzag manner. Edible. Good winter foliage. A prized oriental garden plant".
OriginL Chekiang China, running (loose growing culms), height: 15', culm dia: 1.25", needs light shade, T
min: -10F.

Phyllostachys nigra

Description: "Rare and decorative. The new culms shoot green, and turn black after their first year. Foliage tends to grow towards the top of the plant. Easily grown in planters. Should be protected from hot afternoon sun".
A.k.a. black bamboo.
Origin: China, running (moderately spreading), height: 15', culm dia: 1.25", needs light shade, T
min: -10F.

Phyllostachys nigra "Bory"

Description: "This cultivar of black bamboo is attractively mottled green and black -- snake skin. For those who appreciate the black bamboos, this plant is a must", "Decorative culm coloring".
A.k.a. snake skin bamboo.
Origin: China, running (moderately spreading), height: 20', culm dia: 1.5", needs light shade, T
min: -10F.

Pleioblastus argentostriatus

Description: "This groundcover bamboo is beautifully variegated with white and yellow sripes. Vigorous". "Dark blue-green leaves with white stripes".
Origin: cultivation, running (moderately spreading), height: 3', culm dia: 0.25", needs partial shade, T
min: -10F.

Pleioblastus variegatus

Description: "A strongly variegated white-and-green foliage groundcover. Widely used in Japanese gardens for its distinctive appearance".
Running, height: 2', culm dia: 0.125", needs sun, T
min: -10F.

Pleioblastus viridi-striatus

Description: "Pubescent foliage is brilliantly variegated green and yellow. Leaves become more yellow in the sun. Should be cut to the ground to rejuvenate growth in spring. An excellent and desirable groundcover". "Very pretty yellow-green foliage".
A.k.a. Arundinaria auricoma.
Origin: cultivation, running (little spread), height: 3', culm dia: 0.25", sun or shade, T
min: -20F.

Pseudosasa japonica "Tsutsumiana"

Description: "Erect culms with `bottle shaped' swollen internodes. Large medium green leaves. Good specimen for containers".
Origin: S. Japan and Korea, running (moderately spreading), height: 18', culm dia: 0.75", partial shade, T
min: -10F.

Sasa kurilensis simofuri

Description: "Dwarf running species. Six inch leaves. Exceptional variegation. A very desirable groundcover".
Origin: Korea, Japan, Sakhalin, Kuril Islands. Running (spreading rapidly), height: 3', culm dia: 0.25", sun or shade, T
min: -10F.

Last updated Wednesday, November 04, 1998, Thorsten von Eicken