Bamboo

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Borinda nujiangensis (new)

New from Yunnan, China, and one of the most elegant of all. Tightly clumping, with closely packed relatively slim culms that are erect at first and then arch out under the weight of exceptionally slim foliage. The new culms are covered at first in red tinted sheaths that peel away to reveal ravishing icy-blue culms. Proven very hardy, even through 2010 in Shropshire! 3m.

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Borinda papyrifera Stapleton 1046

Borinda papyrifera Stapleton 1046

One of the finest of modern introductions from the slopes of Zi Ben Shan, Yunnan, SW China at 3300m asl. The icy-blue-white new culm colour lasts extremely well; though equally good are the huge papery sheaths. Particularly strong upright growth to 5m, with the older culms arching under the weight of foliage. Very tightly clump forming with big thick culms.

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Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda

Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda

A very distinct bamboo with particularly swollen nodes on the culms, used to make the famous Chinese walking sticks. Extremely elegant and distinct long narrow foliage on graceful arching culms to 2-3m. Running habit best controlled with rhizome barrier. Gorgeous, one of my favourites, and probably the most elegant of all bamboos. Best in semi-shade.

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Chusquea culeou

These are recently seed raised from the flowering of a plant originally collected in Chile. A sought after bamboo, forming a very tight clump with thick upright, yellow-green culms and distinct, dense, leafy branching at each node. A real specimen bamboo, also great associated with big leaves. 3-4m, sometimes smaller. Hardy.

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Chusquea gigantea

Chusquea gigantea

The holy grail to many lovers of bamboo. This very large growing Andean species creates an awe inspiringly impressive clump of widely spaced thick culms extremely quickly. Culms are green, turning yellow between the nodes which are prominently branched. New culms have attractive, persistent cream sheaths, and the leaves are long and narrow. Height 6m.

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Fargesia nitida 'Black Pearl' (new)

A relatively new form of the species raised in 2005, so this should not in theory flower and die till about 2105. The culms are heavily stained blackish-purple in both winter and summer; this should make a dense clump of upright slim culms to about 3m tall. Very hardy and easy in sun or shade.

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Fargesia nitida Jiuzhaigou 1

Fargesia nitida Jiuzhaigou 1

Collected 1986 from N Sichuan, China. Originally thought to be F. nitida, but now considered a different species by some. Erect growth to about 2.5m with new culms aging to a lovely deep red, and very pretty, tiny leaves arranged in small, downward pointing bunches. Very hardy and tightly clump forming. Enjoys shade though stands full sun too.

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Fargesia nitida Jiuzhaigou 2

Up to 4m high, this is one of the largest forms of this beautiful small leaved species. Similar to Jiuzhaigou 1 in many other respects, with slightly larger culms that are less tightly packed into the clump. Very hardy, non-running and unlikely to flower for a very long time. Originally thought to be F. nitida, but now considered a different species by some.

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Fargesia robusta

Fargesia robusta

A superb, relatively recent introduction, which lives up to its name well. Red-tinted, hairy shoots are seen very early in spring, emerging from a tight, non-running base and growth is vertical and strong, with a dazzling display of bleached white culm sheaths all the way up the culms in midsummer. Foliage is deep glossy green, long and slim. Height 4 or 5m.

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Fargesia rufa

Fargesia rufa

Fairly new, this very beautiful clump forming species has great potential in small gardens, either in the ground or in a pot. Culm sheaths and branches tinted with rusty orange-red, and narrow, glossy, rich green foliage on thin, densely set culms all add up to a distinctive, refined look. Up to about 2m, though often a bit smaller, especially in a pot. V.V. nice.

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Fargesia scabrida

Fargesia scabrida

This is yet another fabulous species new to cultivation in the West. The colouring on the new shoots on this beauty is quite remarkable, with pale burnt-orange culm sheaths contrasting magnificently with the violet-blue fresh culms. Foliage is elegant glossy-green, long and slim. Non-running but very vigorously makes a clump about 3m high. Superb.

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Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis'

Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis'

Widely available and deservedly so, this is a very colourful and very hardy plant with a mass of strongly upright, golden-yellow culms that have an alternating green groove, and occasionally have a zigzag base. The culms temporarily blush red on the sunny side, and the foliage is rich green. Potentially running, so use rhizome barrier. To about 4.5m tall. Best in sun.

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Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Marliacea' (new)

A very rare form of this strong growing hardy species, distinct in the textural corrugated culms, with longitudinal grooves, this has for long been a most desirable acquisition for bamboo aficionados. Best in the southern half of the UK at least, as this species grows better with warmer summers, the thick upright culms potentially rise to about 6m.

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Phyllostachys nigra

Phyllostachys nigra

'Black Bamboo'. Hardly needs an introduction; the unique and well known favourite, making a gracefully arching upright clump to about 3m high. Culms often green in their first year, becoming jet black. Not overly vigorous for a Phyllostachys with limited spread at the root; easy to control. Loves sun, heat and rain. Perfectly hardy.

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Phyllostachys nigra 'Boryana'

Phyllostachys nigra 'Boryana'

Much bigger than the normal 'Black Bamboo', this form develops into a huge upright specimen to about 6m, with thick green culms splashed with large dark brown blotches in their second year. Sounds strange but is in fact very attractive. Hardy and vigorous, making quite a clump in time. An excellent specimen plant. Best in full sun.

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Phyllostachys vivax 'Aureocaulis'

Phyllostachys vivax 'Aureocaulis'

Me oh my, I love this bamboo. Truly marvellous, and jaw droppingly impressive when one encounters a mature specimen, which doesn't take long from a small plant, as the huge thick culms seem to arise from nowhere. They are golden yellow with occasional green stripes, and the foliage is rich green, elegantly drooping and held high. Up to 6m. Vigorous.

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Thamnocalamus crassinodus 'Kew Beauty'

Thamnocalamus crassinodus 'Kew Beauty'

A real gem and one of my favourite bamboos. Billowing masses of exquisite tiny leaves on upright culms that emerge with a blue-grey bloom and turn deep-red with good light. Very tightly clump forming with a height of about 4m. Best with some shade, especially in hot dry areas. Hardy to about -15c. Very beautiful and highly recommended by me.

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Thamnocalamus crassinodus 'Lang Tang'

Another exquisite form of this wonderful species from the Himalaya. In this cultivar the foliage is very slim and tiny on upright culms that emerge blue-grey and turn green. The effect of a mature specimen is of a billowing mass of intricate greenery. Very tightly clump forming, reaching about 3.5m high, and best in semi-shade. Hardy to about -15c. A very special gem.

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