Phyllostachys nigra 'Henon'                        
"Giant Grey Bamboo"

Height: 30' to 50'
Canopy Width: 5' to 50'
Culm Diameter: 2" to 3"
Hardiness: -5F
Light Tolerance: 2 through 5
USDA Range: 6 through 10
2 gallon:  $25
5 gallon:  $50
10 gallon: $75

     P. nigra 'Henon' is one of the largest bamboo available in the temperate climate. Easily capable of growing 30 feet tall, it averages 40 feet, and we have seen a very old grove in Vancouver, WA which has achieved 50 feet; a towering forest of giant grey culms.
    'Henon' has similar character to Black Bamboo, and is thought to be the original species from which Black, 'Megurochiuku', 'Bory', and many other variations of P. nigra diverged. Its best quality is the small, feather-like leaf pattern. When viewed from a distance, one can peer into it's airy depth within layers upon layers of delicate green foliage.
    Also noteworthy is the pale grey color of the old culms, inspiration for the nickname "Giant Grey Bamboo". The new shoots, first visible in April, have burgundy colored culm sheaths that are  covered with very fine, brown hairs (identical to Black Bamboo, 'Bory', and other cultivars of P. nigra).   The culm sheaths are shucked off by the unfolding branches, revealing light green culms. Over the seasons they gradually change to a pale greenish-grey. A venerable, five year old culm, is a uniform cloudy grey. There is always a subtle mixture of colors representing the old and the young.
    P. nigra 'Henon' has exceptional hardiness. Evergreen in Zone
7 or warmer. In Zone 6 it may loose some of the foliage on top, and, baring a very cold winter, is probably root hardy to Zone 5.  In Zone 6 or lower, its ultimate height will probably be no greater than 25 feet. If a well established bamboo looses all of its culms in a severe winter, the root mass will grow back vigorously next spring to usually 3/4 of the original size. A 4 to 6 inch layer of mulch or compost applied to the root mass in the Fall will increase the growth put on next spring.  The added warmth, insulation, and nutrients, will help the bamboo to over winter, sustaining less damage.  The culms and leaves are only half the story; the root mass and rhizomes are the heart and soul of bamboo, a stronghold of energy.
    'Henon' makes a beautiful specimen and can be grown into a true bamboo forest if given adequate space. A growing area 30 or more feet in circumference is ideal. It can also be persuaded to form a very tall, narrow privacy screen. The noble "Giant Grey" has also been used successfully as a 30 foot tall container plant in a grocery store (Whole Foods), shopping mall (Pioneer Place), and several other commercial landscapes, both indoors and outdoors, in Portland, Oregon.  If grown indoors, it needs a well lit area and higher than average air humidity.  
 

P.nigra'Henon'4s.jpg (349227 bytes)
Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
Giant Grey Bamboo, blowing in the breeze.


Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo

 
Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
Pale grey, 3+year  old culms.
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Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
American Bamboo Society members, admiring the Henon growing at the Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens,
in Savannah, GA.

 

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
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