Bamboo

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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 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, but with slightly larger culms that are less tightly packed into the clump, giving a slightly more open effect. Very hardy and unlikely to flower for a very long time.

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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 robusta 'Red Sheath' ('Wolong')

A very fine and colourful bamboo, with large, glossy leaves for a Fargesia, and upright arching growth to about 4m. The persistent and prolific culm sheaths are copper-red tinted and add greatly to the beauty of this vigorous clump-former, especially in midsummer. Larger leaved and therefore more arching than the standard form. Very hardy.

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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 'Aureocaulis'

Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Aureocaulis'

An excellent very hardy bamboo for general garden use in sun, providing a colourful and manageable specimen. Very upright culms with occasional, characteristic zigzag bases emerge pale yellow and turn to a rich golden yellow, temporarily reddening on the sunny side, and reach about 4m in height. Potentially running, so use rhizome barrier. To about 4.5m tall.

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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 'Castillonii'

Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Castillonii'

A beautiful bamboo with thick culms in bright yellow with alternating deep green patches making a striking contrast, up to 4.5m high. One of the most colourful bamboos, and truly spectacular when well grown in full sun. Colours much stronger on older plants. Perfectly hardy. Usually loosely clump forming, but potentially running in very warm gardens.

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Phyllostachys dulcis

For those wanting to create a real grove of big, thick culms quickly, this is your plant. Still a rarity, this species has the ability to throw up very beefy green culms with white bands at each node from an early age, creating a thicket of tall, leafy shoots up to 6m. The young shoots are delicious (dulcis meaning sweet), so a good choice for the vegetable garden. Best in full sun.

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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 var. henonis

Phyllostachys nigra var. henonis

The big green brother of 'Black Bamboo'. A strong growing, very tall bamboo with big, thick green culms and masses of small leaves, densely set, giving a particularly attractive appearance. Tighter in cool northern areas, but could form an impressive grove in hot places in the south. Up to 6m high and very hardy. Best in full sun. One of my favourites.

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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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Semiarundinaria fastuosa

A superb species for British gardens making impressive dense clumps, or even groves, of bolt upright, thick green culms in sun or shade. The older culms turn to purple after a while and reach 5m or more. Superb for screening or shelter belts and very hardy, performing well even in cold areas.

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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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