Originating from China
- One of Urban Jungle’s top recommended large-growing bamboo.
- The best hedging and screening form with dense and wind-hardy foliage.
- Outstandingly coloured, rich amber gold culms which are red in spring.
It is rare for a plant to combine such exceptional utilitarian qualities with outstanding beauty. The dense growth of this spectacular form makes it ideal for screening unwanted views, creating windbreaks, and providing shade. Its abundant evergreen, glossy mid-green foliage maintains its healthy appearance even after a cold and windy winter. It grows into a dense clump with tightly packed culms, up to 5cm thick.
In spring the culms emerge in spikes covered with highly decorative cream-coloured, pink, and red-flushed papery sheaths, handsomely marked with dark green stripes. The spikes grow very quickly, reaching their full height of up to 6m from ground level in just 6 – 8 weeks, depending on the weather conditions. As the culms get taller their sheaths fall away to reveal the beautiful clear buttery gold new culms, flushed with blood-red tints as they grow vigorously in spring, with the red being particularly vibrant in strong sun. As the culms mature their colours darken to a rich amber gold colour.
As with all species in the genus Phyllostachys, this form is highly adaptable and may be grown in different ways; if left to grow naturally it will form a dense bushy clump with foliage down to the ground, alternatively, the lower branches of the culms may be removed to whatever desired height, exposing the exotically coloured culms, and forming an architecturally stunning specimen. This is how we have treated the clumps in our nurseries, as you can see in the photos above. Its height may also be controlled by simply bending the culms over (once they have hardened off – new shoots are very brittle), and trimming the top of the culm itself to the desired height.
In some gardens, the Gold Groove Bamboo will spread by running rhizomes once established, whilst in others it will maintain a tight clump. This is demonstrated perfectly by the clumps growing both at our Norwich and Beccles branches; in Norwich it has stayed as a self-contained clump for almost 20 years, hardly spreading at all, in Beccles it spreads every year, growing in straight lines up to 40cm long in one season. The running rhizomes are only 5 – 8 cm below ground level, so unwanted runners are easy to remove. In our case, they are much prized and are potted up to make new plants for our customers! If the rhizomes are watched every season it is clear to see the direction of their spread and it is easy to lift the end of the runner, lightly levering it up with the help of a spade, and simply cutting it back to the desired distance from the original clump. If this is done annually it makes an easily manageable clump, as this simple task takes very little time.
If a clump is not controlled for a season or two, controlling this species becomes a harder yet still manageable task. Clumps neglected for several years are the source of many people’s preconceptions about bamboo being problematic, whereas it is the gardener’s lack of knowledge or discipline in responsibly growing this wonderful plant that is the problem. At Urban Jungle we are committed to providing detailed instructions to our customers for successfully and safely growing bamboo. The outstanding qualities of this species easily merit the small amount of time, (compared to e.g. trimming hedges), required to grow it in a controlled way. Alternatively, as with any bamboo, it may be planted within a rhizome barrier, the perimeter of which must still be checked annually.
Semi-mature height and spread after 2 – 5 years if not pruned 5m x 2m.
Height and spread after 10 – 15 years if not controlled or trimmed 7m x 7m