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Tall Bamboos

These are the tall temperate bamboos, the plants you think of when you think "bamboo". Many can be grown from Zone 10 to Zone 5, Zone 4 in sheltered locations. While they all do best in full sun they will grow, but less vigorously, in open shade. The heights given are found under optimal conditions. Excellent for a patio or as houseplants as well as the garden. Click on the underlined names to get a photo of the bamboo.

Stone Bamboo Phyllostachys angusta. A yellow-green bamboo with very hard wood, hence the name. Great looking and popular as an interior container plant. Hardy to 0F. Maximum height 22 feet.

Yellowgroove Bamboo Phyllostachys aureosulcata. Light yellow grooves on contrasting green culms (canes). A very hardy bamboo widely grown in this country. Hardy to -15F. Maximum height 25 feet.

Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis. This rare and lovely cultivar of Yellowgroove Bamboo looks like Castillon (see below) but is as hardy as Yellowgroove. A very decorative bamboo good into Zone 5 ; particularly valuable for northern gardens. Hardy to -15baF. Max. height 25 feet; about 12 feet as a houseplant..

Castillon Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Castillon'. Bright green grooves (the flat side of the cane) on contrasting yellow culms (canes). Hardy to 0F. Max. height 35 feet; about 12 feet as a houseplant. One of the most decorative temperate bamboos you can grow.

David Bisset Bamboo Phyllostachys bissetii. Excellent color, forest green and very hardy. One of the four best for northern states. Hardy to -15F. Maximum height 25 feet.

Sweet Bamboo Phyllostachys congesta. A vigorous bamboo which quickly forms thick culms. Good as a screen, specimen plant, or for eating. My tests show it to be hardy to -15F. Maximum height 25 feet.

Black Bamboo Phyllostachys nigra. Fabulous bamboo with green leaves and contrasting ebony-black culms. If you can't grow this outdoors (hardy to 0F.) grow it as an interior plant. Maximum height 20 feet.

Henon Phyllostachys nigra 'Henon'. A vigorous green bamboo. As the grove matures the culms assume a gray-blue cast giving the grove an attractive ghostly appearance, Hardy to 0F, maximum height 50 feet.

Snow Bamboo Phyllostachys nuda. Hardiest of the tall bamboos and a fine choice for northern states. Each node has a white ring easily seen on the larger culms. Hardy to -20F. Maximum height 35 feet.

Phyllostachys purpurata ' Straightstem'. Vigorous upright grower. Handsome and one of the few bamboos that will grow in moist soil. Excellent for a screen. Hardy to 0F. Maximum height 30 feet.

Phyllostachys rubromarginata. Excellent wind tolerance and a vigorous bamboo. Good choice for a difficult site. Hardy to -5F. Maximum height 55 feet.

Moso Phyllostachys pubescens . Considered one of the finest bamboos in Asia. You can grow it if your temperature stays above 0F and you don't get late freezes. Maximum height 80 feet. (Yes 80 feet.)

Phyllostachys violascens A rare and lovely bamboo hardy to 0F and growing to 20 feet. The culms are violet to black at first. They are sometimes striped with violet. A most variable bamboo.

Semiarundinaria fastuosa A very erect dark green to purplish brown bamboo that spreads slowly. Hardy to about -5F, maximum height 30 feet.

Intermediate and Low Bamboos

These are bamboos about twelve feet or lower. Many can be used as ground covers and are just about unknown and certainly underutilized by gardeners and landscape architects. Grown more for their foliage than culms, they offer attractive effects coupled with low maintainence. Others are superb houseplants, attractive on a patio or as garden specimens.

Alphonse Karr Bamboo Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr'. A tropical clumping bamboo with yellow culms and vertical green stripes. Young growth is pink. Hardy to 15F. Max. height 35 feet; about 7 feet as a houseplant. Bambusa vulgaris 'Wamin'. A dwarf bamboo with swollen internodes, hardy to 25F. Swelling appears in larger diameter culms. To 12 feet. Buddha Belly Bamboo Bambusa ventricosa. A tropical clumping bamboo with swollen internodes, the "bellies". Very decorative bamboo, and easy to grow as a houseplant given a sunny spot. We sell plants in one gallon pots and about three feet tall. A favorite of bonsai growers, and perfect for a Japanese interior. Maximum height as a houseplant is about 6 feet. Hardy to 15F.

Marbled Bamboo Chimonobambusa marmorea. The new shoots are marbled with cream and purple. The photo is more red than it should be. A runner hardy to 15F, maximum height about 6 feet.

Square Bamboo Chimonobamusa quadrangularis. A running bamboo with square culms (if the diameter is larger than about 1/4 inch). The nodes are beautifully shaped and the leaves drape gracefully. A superior bamboo for the garden or interior. Hardy to 15F, max. height 25 feet; about 8 feet as a houseplant. This is a personal favorite for interior use.

Chusquea coronalis. One of the prettiest of all the bamboos. Hardy to about 25F so we grow it as a houseplant. It's a clumper with tiny leaves on branchlets that encircle the culms.

Drepanostachyum hookerianum. A clumping bamboo from the Himalayas, hardy to 15F. Masses of green leaves borne on slender branchlets. Green culms striped with yellow and pink. Leaves show occasional variegation. Good interior plant as it needs only moderate light. Max. height 25 feet; about 6 feet as a houseplant. Rare. Other members of this genus, all clumpers, are good houseplants but are very hard to find.

Fargesia nitida. A lovely and very hardy (-20F.), clumping, shade-loving bamboo. The first year a culm emerges it is unbranched. With succeeding years it becomes more branched and more pendulous. Sorry the photo is not in color. Slow-growing.

Hibanobambusa tranquillans 'Shiroshima'. Lovely variegation (see the photo) on a plant up to 12 feet tall and hardy to about 10F. A natural hybrid. It is also available in a non-variegated form, Hibanobambusa tranquillans.

Indocalamus tessellatus. Elegant and graceful, up to about four feet. Deep green leaves, very large for the size of the plant. Hardy to Zone 5, maybe 4. Good in low light, very pretty on a slope, and a favorite in our glazed ceramic pot.

Mexican Weeping Bamboo Otatea acuminata. Long narrow leaves on pendulous culms. Hardy to 22F. Good as a houseplant or, in mild climates, in the garden.

Pleioblastus argentostriatus 'Akebono'. Akebono-Japanese for dawn-refers to the variegation, green leaves with white tips. Not much chlorophyll so it grows slowly. Hardy to about 0F.

Pleioblastus chino murakamianus Up to about three feet tall. This hard to find bamboo has very variable variegation with some leaves green, some white, and all gradations between. An attractive ground cover or interior plant. Probably root-hardy to -5F.

Pleioblastus chino vaginatus var. A small (under two feet) bamboo with dry brush variegation. The small leaves of this plant make it a favorite of bonsai growers. However it often flowers. I'd choose the species Pleioblastus chino vaginatus which has the same leaf shape and size, but is not variegated.

Pleioblastus chino vaginatus. These are all-green seedlings of the variegated form, selected for small leaves. Excellent choice for a small pot on your desk or window sill. Bonsai people will like this.

Pleioblastus shibuyanus 'Tsuboi'. A small (two to three feet) bamboo with unique variegation; the mid-vein is always white. This is a very attractive plant that captivates people when they see it in the nursery. Excellent as an interior plant or accent plant in the garden. Hardy to at least -15F.

Pleioblastus simonii. A useful and handsome garden or interior plant. Tall (up to 15 feet), straight culms with long, thin, green leaves. Hardy to 0F.

Arrow Bamboo Pseudosasa japonica. Large, pointed leaves. An upright (up to ten feet) plant used for arrow-making in medieval Japan. A good garden plant that also makes a fine potted bamboo. Very popular. There is also a form, Pseudosasa japonica tsutsumaina, with swollen internodes, called the Green Onion Bamboo

Dwarf Whitestripe Bamboo Pleioblastus variegatus. Green leaves with stark white variegation. Up to three feet. Hardy to Zone 4. Striking in a pot or as a groundcover.

Golden Haired Bamboo Pleioblastus viridistriatus. Yellow-green leaves with green variegation and fine hairs on the leaves. Imparts a golden glow to the area in which it is grown. Superb groundcover. Hardy to Zone 4. Two to three feet.

If-If-If Sasaella masamuniana albostriata. About one foot tall with muted cream variegation. A treasure of subtle elegance, particularly good indoors. I kept one in an inch-high bonsai tray several years. In the garden it has survived Zone 4.

Silver-edge Bamboo Sasa veitchii. Superb groundcover. Comes up green; in the fall the edges turn silver or tan, and stay that way all winter. Very popular in Japan, and slowly becoming known in this country. Zone 5 or maybe even 4.

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