BAMBOO VARIETIES FOR TEXAS

by Steve Muzos
Biology Department, Austin Community College, Austin, Texas, USA
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  • THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS ... INPUT AND CORRECTIONS ARE WELCOMED!
    I know, there are some formattng problems with this version . . . do your best.

    Index to Information in This Site

    Growing Bamboo in Texas

    Clumping Bamboos for Texas
  • Bambusa 
  • Himalayacalamus 
  • Dendrocalamus 
  • Otatea 
  • Fargesia 
  • Thamnocallamus 
  • Running Bamboos for Texas
  • Arundinaria 
  • Pleioblastus 
  • Sasaella 
  • Indocalamus 
  • Pseudosasa 
  • Semiarundinaria 
  • Phyllostachys 
  • Sasa 
  • Shibatea 
  • Bamboo for Texas in Outdoor Containers

    Bamboo for Indoors and for Bonsai
  • Bambusa 
  • Hibanobambusa 
  • Sasaella 
  • Borinda 
  • Himalayacalamus 
  • Semiarundinaria 
  • Chimonobambusa 
  • Indocalamus 
  • Shibataea 
  • Chusquea 
  • Otatea 
  • Thamnocallamus 
  • Dendrocalamus 
  • Phyllostachys 
  • Thyrsostachys 
  • Drepanostachyum 
  • Pleioblastus 
  • Yushania 
  • Gigantochloa 
  • Pseudosasa 
  • Bamboo Names and Synonyms

    Sources of Information
     
     
     

    Growing Bamboo in Texas


    River Cane (Arundinaria gigantea gigantea) is the only bamboo native to Texas, but the varieties of terrain, soils, and USDA plant hardiness zones in the state make it possible to grow many other bamboo species successfully.  The information in this site is written  for use by both gardeners new to bamboo and by Texas Bamboo Society members.

    The species listed here represent those which are generally available to Texas growers through local nurseries or by mail order.
     

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    Clumping Bamboos

    Clumping bamboos only spread sideways above and below ground level at the rate of inches per year or less, and do not require barriers to prevent them from popping up somewhere else, as running bamboos may do. This makes them very suitable for urban landscapes. They are not as cold tolerant as running bamboos, but tend to reach maturity sooner. Some species are erect, or have culms which arch, and others are very bushy, so choose plants according to your landscaping interests.

    Information listed here includes the following.

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    Genus species 'Cultivar' Common Name
    Minimum light requirement
             *** = full to partial sun
               ** = only morning sun
                 * = shade
    Minimum tolerable temperature in degrees  F
    Maximun height in feet
    Landscape uses:
              (H) = hedge/visual screen
              (F) = attractive foliage/culms
              (W) = windbreak
    Brief Comments
    (Photo) with links to photos at other sites
     

    The following are the most cold-tolerant Bambusa species.


    Genus Species  Common Name  Light Req'd  Min Temperature (F)  Max Height (FT)  Landscape Uses  Comments  Photo 
    Bambusa beecheyana Beechey Bamboo  ***  15F  50'    culms arch  (photo)
    Bambusa chungii   ***  21F  30'  culms with white powder   
    Bambusa dissimulator   ***  18F  50'  culms may arch, long branches   
    Bambusa dissimulator albinoda   ***  18F  50'  as above with white rings at nodes   
    Bambusa dolichoclada 'Stripe'  ***  20F  65'  F, W  yellow culms with green stripes   
    Bambusa dolichomrithalla 'Green Stripe'  ***  15F  35'  F, W  yellow culms with green stripes   
    Bambusa dolichomrithalla 'Silver Stripe'  ***  15F  35'    green culms with green stripes   
    Bambusa edulis   ***  20F  65'    large leaves   
    Bambusa eutuldoides   ***  15F  45'  culms straight and erect   
    Bambusa malingensis   ***  20F  35'  H, W  tolerates sea breezes   
    Bambusa multiplex Hedge Bamboo  ***  12F  25'  dense, many branches, tolerates trimming  (photo & growth simulation)
    Bambusa multiplex cultivars    ***  12F  from 3'-25'  H, F, W  can be trimmed into shaped hedges   
    Bambusa oldhami Giant Timber Bamboo  ***  15F  55'  H, W  culms straight, erect, in tight clump  (photo& growth simulation)
    Bambusa pachinensis   ***  20F  33'    culms yellow   
    Bambusa spinospinosa  Chinese Thorny Bamboo  ***  20F  70'  dense thorny clump   
    Bambusa textilis Weavers Bamboo  ***  13F  40'  H, F  tight clumps, tops of culms arch   
    Bambusa tuldoides Punting Pole Bamboo  ***  15F  55'    tight clumps   
    Bambusa ventricosa Buddah's Belly Bamboo  ***  15F  55'  H, F  culms zigzag  (photo &growth simulation)
    Bambusa ventricosa 'Kimmei'  ***  15F  55'  H, F  zigzag culms are yellow w/ green stripes   
      >>clumpers>>>top

    The species of Dendrocalamus listed here are the most cold-tolerant ones in the genus.


    Genus Species  Common Name  Light Req'd  Min Temperature (F)  Max Height (FT)  Landscape Uses  Comments  Photo 
    Dendrocalamus asper   ***  23F  100'    very large, rapid growth   
    Dendrocalamus giganteus   ***  25F  100'    very large   
    Dendrocalamus giganteus variegated   ***  25F  100'    very large plant, variegated leaves   
    Dendrocalamus latiflorus   ***  25F  65'    large leaves   
      >>clumpers>>>top


    Drepanostachyum falcata  (see Himalayamacalamus hookerianus)

      >>clumpers>>>top


    Fargesia sp. **
    NOTE:  Species of this genus are generally cold tolerant, but their roots do not do well if they are overly warm for long periods. They do best if their roots are able to cool at night, so if you want to try them in Texas, consider a place with afternoon shade where the soil may be cooler overnight.

      >>clumpers>>>top
    See the note under Fargesia above, as it applies to Himalayacalamussp. as well.
    Genus Species  Common Name  Light Req'd  Min Temperature (F)  Max Height (FT)  Landscape Uses  Comments  Photo 
    Himalayamacalamus falconeri Candy Stripe Bamboo  **  15F  30'  culms green w/colored stripes   
    Himalayamacalamus hookerianus Himalaya Blue Bamboo  -9F  20'    dark green leaves (AKA Drepanostachyum falcata (photo & growth simulation)
      >>clumpers>>>top

    The species of Otatea listed here are the most cold-tolerant ones in the genus.


    Genus Species  Common Name  Light Req'd  Min Temperature (F)  Max Height (FT)  Landscape Uses  Comments  Photo 
    Oteata acuminata azetecorum  Mexican Weeping Bamboo  ***  22F  20'    culms arch, bushy plant, narrow lvs.   
    Oteata acuminata azetecorum  'Dwarf'  ***  22F  4'    culms arch, narrow leaves, bushy plant   
      >>clumpers>>>top

    Thamnocalamus sp.
    See the note under Fargesia, as it applies to Thamnoacalamus sp. as well.
      >>clumpers>>>top

    Running Bamboos

    Running bamboos spread sideways below ground level by underground stems (rhizomes), and generally require some sort of barrier to prevent them from popping up somewhere else in the landscape. Many of them are very hardy, and they tend to be more cold tolerant than clumping bamboos. Some species are erect, or have culms which arch, and others are very bushy, so choose plants according to your landscaping interests.

    Notations used here are in the same style as those used for the clumping bamboos.
    Genus Species  Common Name  Light Req'd  Min Temperature (F)  Max Height (FT)  Landscape Uses  Comments  Photo 
    Arundinaria gigantea gigantea
    River Cane
     ***  -10F  20'   native to USA (including Texas)   
    Arundinaria gigantea tecta  Switch Cane  **  -10F  6'    native to USA, tolerates wet areas  (photo)
    Indocalamus sp. good ground cover, aggressive,  possible for hedges
    Indocalamus latifolius   0 F  10'    long leaves   
    Indocalamus latifolius ‘Solidus'  -5 F  8'    long leaves, solid culms   
    Indocalamus longiauritus   **  0 F  5'    large leaves and auricles, culms turn blackish-green   
    Indocalamus tessellatus   0 F  7'    leaves to 2'   
    Phyllostachys angusta
    Stone Bamboo 
    ***  0F  22'   culms w/hard texture, good for furniture   
    Phyllostachys aurea Golden Bamboo  ***  0F  27'  F, H  culms with short internodes causing knobby appearance, tolerates trimming and drought  (photo & growth simulation)
    Phyllostachys aurea Golden Bamboo  ***  0F  27'  F, H  culms striped & different colors   
    Phyllostachys aureosulcata Yellow Groove bamboo  ***  -10F  26'  culms slender, occasional zigzag, young culms green with yellow groove   
    Phyllostachys aureosulcata cultivars    ***  -10F  26'-35'  culms of various colors   
    Phyllostachys bambusoides Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo  ***  5F  72'  culms large and straight   
    Phyllostachys bambusoides cultivars    ***  5F  10'-48'  culms of various colors   
    Phyllostachys dulcis Sweetshoot Bamboo  ***  0F  40'    culms arch, tasty shoots   
    Phyllostachys glauca and cultivars    ***  0F  34'  culms of various colors   
    Phyllostachys heteroclada cultivars    ***  0F 18'-75'  some tolerate wet areas, some with zigzag culms, includes Moso  (photo & growth simulation)
    Phyllostachys manii 'Decora'  ***  -5F  30'  tolerates heat, cold, and drought   
    Phyllostachys meyeri   ***  0F  33'    similar to P. aurea but without the short internodes   
    Phyllostachys nigra Black Bamboo  **  0F  30'  culms turn jet black with age, needs some shade  (photo & growth simulation)
    Phyllostachys nigra 'Henon'  ***  0F  65'    culms green, tolerates drought & amended clay,  (photo & growth simulation)
    Phyllostachys nigra cultivars    **  -5F-0F  12'-65'  culms of different colors stripes & spots   
    Phyllostachys rubromarginata   ***  -5F  55'    tolerates cold dry winds   
    Phyllostachys violascens   ***  0F  20'  culms blackish-violet possibly w/violet stripes   
    Phyllostachys viridis 'Robert Young'  ***  0F  40'  culms turn gold with green stripes, drought tolerant   
    Phyllostachys vivax   ***  -5F  70'    culmsturn gray green with white beneath nodes   
    Pleioblastus fortunei
    Dwarf Whitestripe Bamboo 
    -10F  4'  variegated lvs., ground cover 
     
     

     

     
    Pleioblastus hindsii   **  0F  15'    leaveslong, narrow, erect and grasslike   
    Pleioblastus pygmaeaus   **  10F  2'    very small leaves, ground cover   

    Pseudosasa amabilis
    Tonkin Cane, Teastick Bamboo 
    ***  10F  50'  straight, nodes not prominent, good fishing poles  (photo & growth simulation)
    Pseudosasa japonica Arrow Bamboo  **  0F  18'    culms erect, large leaves, tolerates wet and dry areas  (photo & growth simulation)
    Sasa sp.   *  most are hardy to -5-0F  2'-7'  good ground covers, can be mowed or trimmed   
    Sasaella sp.   **  -5-0F  6'-10'  good ground covers, can be mowed or trimmed   
    Semiarundinaria fastuosa
    Narihira Bamboo 
    ***  -5F  30'  straight erect culms turn purplish brown with age, drought tolerant   
    Semiarundinaria yashadake 'Kimmei'  ***  0F  25'  as above w/yellow culm & leaf stripes   
    Shibatea sp.   **  -10 to -5 F  2'-7'  F  good ground covers   


    Bamboo in Outdoor Containers

    Outdoor containers are a good solution for growing many of the running bamboos without the need for underground barriers. Place the container on an impermeable surface, or if placed on the ground, check the drainage holes annually to see if any rhizomes are escaping and need to be removed from the surrounding ground.  Many of the clumping bamboos also do well in containers. Large unglazed terra cotta pots are recommended in order to prevent overheating the roots in hot weather.  Adding mulch or other insulation around the pot is recommended in cold weather to prevent freeze damage to the roots and rhizomes.

    When selecting bamboos for outdoor containers, use the lists of recommended clumping and running bamboos for Texas.
     

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    Indoor Bamboo and Bonsai

    Growing bamboo indoors and keeping it healthy is a challenge. The plants require a humid environment, so mist them regularly, and keep a container of pebbles and water near the plant  in order to humidify the air.  Bamboo does best if the soil is allowed to dry between waterings, and  these plants do not tolerate being waterlogged.  Allow air to circulate around and below the plant (such as placing wooden dowels in the tray below the pot). Suppling the appropriate light level for each species you choose is very important.

    Information listed here includes the following.
    Genus species 'Cultivar' Common Name
    Indoor light requirement minimums are listed below as:
              *** = Bright direct light, at least 6 hours/day
               ** = Bright indirect light, preferably 4-6 hours/day
                 * = Moderate indirect light, less than 4 hours/day.
    Maximum height in [feet]:

    Expect them to grow much shorter indoors than they would outside in optimal conditions. Large plants may reach only 20% of the height listed here, and smaller plants may reach only 60-70% of the height listed here. Indoor growth heights are not well established, so the heights listed here are for mature plants grown outside.
    Attractive features:
              (B) = species which have been recommended by various growers for bonsai,
              (C) = culm colors
              (L) = leaf size/shape/arrangement
              (S) = leaf shape
              (V) = variegated leaves
    Brief Comments
    (Photo) with links to photos at other sites
     
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    Genus Species  Common Name  Light Req'd  Max Height (FT)  Attractive Features  Comments  Photo 
    Bambusa burmanica   ***  50'       
    Bambusa dolichomerithalla   ***  35'     
    Bambusa edulis   ***  65'     
    Bambusa glaucophylla Malay dwarf  ***  15'  dense growth   
    Bambusa luteostriata   ***  30'  C, V     
    Bambusa multiplex   ***  25'  dense growth  (Photo)       (photo & growth simulation)
    Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr'  ***  25'  B, C    (photo & growth simulation)
    Bambusa multiplex 'Fernleaf'  ***  20'  B, L    (Photo)       (photo & growth simulation)
    Bambusa multiplex 'Fernleaf Stripestem'  ***  20'  C, L    (photo & growth simulation)
    Bambusa multiplex 'Golden Goddess'  ***  20'  B, C, L    (Photo)
    Bambusa multiplex 'Riviereorum'  ***  6'  B, L     
    Bambusa multiplex 'Silverstripe'  ***  20'  C, V     
    Bambusa multiplex 'Tiny Fern'  ***  3'  B, L    (Photo)
    Bambusa oldhami   ***  55'      (photo & growth simulation)
    Bambusa textilis Weavers Bamboo  ***  40'       
    Bambusa ventricosa Buddha's Belly Bamboo  ***  55'  culms swell between nodes  (Photo)        (photo & growth simulation)
    Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata Painted' Bamboo  ***  50'    (Photo)
      >>indoor>>>top
    Borinda fungosa  **  20'       
      >>indoor>>>top
    Chimonobambusa marmorea   **  6'  B, C    (Photo)
    Chimonobambusa quadrangularis   ***  25'  square culms  (photo & growth simulation)          (Photo)
         >>indoor>>>top
    Chusquea circinata  **  22'  whorled leaves    
    Chusquea coronalis   **  15'  whorled leaves   
    Chusquea liebmanii   **  35'  whorled leaves   
    Chusquea pittierii   **  50'  culms arch   
      >>indoor>>>top
    Dendrocalamus brandesii  ***  100'  thick culms   
    Dendrocalamus latiflorus   ***  65'     
      >>indoor>>>top
    Drepanostachyum khasyanum  **  12'     
    Drepanostachyum sengteeanum   **  30'  C, L     
      >>indoor>>>top
    Gigantochloa sp.
     'Sumatra #3751'
     ***  60'     
      >>indoor>>>top
    Hibanobambusa tranquilans
    'Shiroshima'
     *  16'  B, V    (Photo)
      >>indoor>>>top
    Himalayacalamus falconeri  **  30'  C, L     
    Himalayacalamus hookerianus Himalayan Blue Bamboo  20'    (photo & growth simulation)
      >>indoor>>>top
    Indocalamus latifolius  *  10'     
    Indocalamus longiaurtus   5'     
    Indocalamus tessellatus   7'     
      >>indoor>>>top
    Otatea acuminata aztecorum
    Mexican Weeping Bamboo 
    ***  15'  B, L    (Photo)
      >>indoor>>>top
    Phyllostachys humilis  ***  20'  B, C    (Photo)
    Phyllostachys nigra   ***  30'  B, C    (Photo)
      >>indoor>>>top
    Pleioblastus akebono  **  1.5'  B, L, V     
    Pleioblastus chino murakamianus   **  10'  B, V    (Photo)
    Pleioblastus chino vaginatus variegatus   **  6'  B, V     
    Pleioblastus fortunei Dwarf Whitestripe Bamboo  4'     
    Pleioblastus humilis   **  7'     
    Pleioblastus pygmaeus   2'  B, L     
    Pleioblastus shibuyanus 'Tsuboi'  **  9'  B, V    (Photo)
    Pleioblastus simonii   **  20'     
    Pleioblastus viridistriatus   **  3'  B, V    (Photo)
      >>indoor>>>top
    Pseudosasa japonica
    Arrow Bamboo
     **  18'  B, L    (Photo)        (photo & growth simulation)
    Pseudosasa owatarii   **  3'       
      >>indoor>>>top
    Sasaella hidaensis muraii  **  6'  hairy sheaths   
    Sasaella masumuneana albostriata   **  6'  B, V    (Photo)
    Sasaella ramosa   6'       
      >>indoor>>>top
    Semiarundinaria fastuosa  ***  30'     
    Semiarundinaria yashadake 'Kimmei'  ***  25'  C, V     
      >>indoor>>>top
    Shibataea kumasaca  *  7'  prominent nodes with zigzag internodes   
      >>indoor>>>top
    Thamnocallamus aristatus  **  12'       
      >>indoor>>>top
    Thyrsostachys siamensis
    Monastery Bamboo
     ***  40'    persistent sheaths   
      >>indoor>>>top
    Yushania anceps  **  12'       
    Yushania anceps 'Pitt White'  **  12'     
      >>indoor>>>top

    Bamboo Names and Synonyms

    As with any group of plants, not everyone uses the same names for any one plant. The names used in this site are those found in the American Bamboo Society Species Tables (see below). Here are some good sources of synonyms for bamboo names.
  • European Bamboo Society
  • MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE
  • Wim Masman's site

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    SOURCES OF INFORMATION

    More information about the bamboo species listed here can be found  in the American Bamboo Society  species tables.
  • The American Bamboo Society   is the source of much of the information on this site.
  • Bamboo Headquarters
  • Bamboo Sourcery
  • Bell, Michael. 2000. The Gardner's Guide to Growing Temperate Bamboos.Timber Press, Portland OR.
  • bonsaiweb.com
  • Burt Associates Bamboo
  • Cusack, Victor. 1999. Bamboo World, The Growing and Use of Clumping Bamboos. Kangaroo Press, Sydney.
  • Durnford Dart's Bamboo Australia
  • Farrelly, David. 1984. The Book of Bamboo. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco CA.
  • Florida Caribbean Chapter of the American Bamboo Society
  • Mr. Bamboo, Australia
  • Quindembo Bamboo
  • Texas Bamboo Society   TBS site on ABS page
  • The Bamboo Garden Nursery
  • Tradewinds Bamboo Nursery

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    Last updated on February 26, 2005

    Technical help from Bich Tran . . . it worked when he sent it to me, before I messed with it!
    By Steve Muzos
    Bamboo email to:  gardentex@hotmail.com
    smuzos@austincc.edu for ACC email


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