Fargesia sp. 'Rufa'                                   
also called Fargesia dracocephala 'Rufa'

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Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo.  Same hedge as below, in 2009, about 9 feet tall @ Bamboo Garden
Height: 7' to 10'
Canopy Width:  3' to 15'
Culm Diameter:  " to "
Hardiness: -15 F
Light Tolerance: 1 through 4
USDA Range: 5 through 9
2 gallon:  $30
5 gallon:  $50
10 gallon: $85

    Among the most cold hardy of the true Clumpers, 'Rufa' is becoming well recognized as versatile, non-invasive bamboo, used to create a medium sized hedge or screen.
    First brought west in 1995 from the Gansu province of China, it immediately gained attention due to its vigor and hardiness. 'Rufa' shows minimal sign of stress when exposed to very cold winters, or even full sun in mild climates. A young plant can be somewhat sensitive, but a well established Fargesia sp. 'Rufa' can withstand more punishment than any other Clumping Bamboo. It is known to be the only clumper that can be consistently grown in Zone 5, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, or other states that get extremely cold but have conversely hot and humid summers. Simply put, it can grow just about anywhere except for the tropics or tundra.
    Fargesia sp. 'Rufa' produces many new shoots, early each spring.  A two gallon plant with ten culms, may produce over ten new shoots, more than doubling its total mass.  They usually gain about two feet in height each year, and gradually expand their roots about 6 inches per year.  The canopy is gently weeping; if the root mass is three feet in diameter, the canopy is usually about twice as wide and 8 feet tall at the center.  Like any Clumping Bamboo, 'Rufa' takes well to being pruned, if a more upright hedge is desired. Similar to F. robusta, 'Rufa' has a beautiful checkered color pattern found on the new shoots
(see photo on right).
    Out of the Clumping Bamboo we sell, 'Rufa' is the most hardy and also the smallest. Its versatility and non-invasive nature make it an important new bamboo for the landscape and small, urban gardens across the country.
    The true identity of this bamboo is still under debate; it has recently been renamed F. dracocephala 'Rufa' by Chris Stapleton. The name originates from Chinese taxonomists due to a small part of the leaf sheath that resembles a miniature dragon head. 
   See this article for more further reading.
   Also see: 
New Introduction

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
Checker board color pattern found on new shoots.


Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
A three year old hedge of Fargesia sp 'Rufa'. Started from 5 gallon plants in the fall.  They have filled out to an impressive height 2.5  years later.

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
Fargesia sp. 'Rufa' has elegant foliage and is very cold hardy.
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Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
F.sp. 'Rufa' has many similar qualities to Fargesia robusta, but smaller. The new shoots have a checkerboard pattern, but with a tinge of rusty orange and pink.
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Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
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