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CLUMPING BAMBOO have a non-invasive root structure.
introduced species of true Clumping Bamboo have caught the attention of
many, due to their unique root structure that creates a tight cluster of
culms -one can grow them without worry of unwanted spread. Identifying
what types of bamboo have fast spreading habits, and which are tightly
clumping, will enable one to make the right choices for certain
landscapes. Clumping Bamboo differ from the more common, fast spreading
types. Relatively new to temperate gardens, they are smaller, averaging 8
to 15 feet in height, and require little maintenance. The root structure
grows together in a dense cluster, spreading a couple inches out from the
base each season. They have gracefully arching plumes of dark green,
feather-like leaves, draping from a tight cluster of culms. The types
we specialize in (listed in the middle column) are very cold hardy and can
be grown in a wide range of climates, though they prefer a cool, temperate
climate. They are consistently evergreen ~sometimes
January is when one can most appreciate bamboo, as it stands in vivid
contrast with the drab brown and grey colors typical of the season.
Most of our hardy clumpers in
horticulture today, originated in the Himalayas, at elevations over 7,000
feet. We specialize in the cold hardy, mountain-dwelling varieties which
represent over 80 species of a complex and diverse group of clump-forming
bamboos. They are indigenous to the mountains of Sichuan, Yunnan, and
Gansu provinces in China, extending west through Bhutan, Nepal, northern
India, and the Tibetan plateau. The original group has been divided
into several genera: Borinda, Drepanostachyum,
Himalayacalamus, Fargesia, Thamnocalamus, and Yushania.
Fargesia sp. 'Rufa'
Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida'
is a picture of a clumping root mass found on a F.
The soil has been washed away in order to divide this plant into several pieces. Look carefully, each bud extending from a green culm is pointed directly upward, ready to create a new shoot.
Here is the story: In February, three culms with about six primary buds (or new shoots) were separated from a larger plant. The second culm from the left is the oldest. By April, two of the buds had grown into new shoots, extending upward to become culms. Through the summer months, they created leaves, roots, another new culm, and a new batch of buds for the following season.
Most new shoots are produced in March through May, however, F. robusta, F. sp. 'Rufa', and F. sp. 'Scabrida' often send up a secondary, though smaller, flush of new shoots in August through September. The plant (as photographed above) has about 18 viable buds, 10 to 14 of which will produce new shoots the following spring. In short, three large culms are capable of producing 12 to 16 new culms within a year and a half. All of this activity has taken place within a 10 gallon container, about 16 inches in diameter.
One can expect one to three feet of height gain per year from a Clumping Bamboo. In other words, a two gallon plant that is two feet tall, with three culms will exceed 10 feet with over 100 culms within five years, given good conditions. They are very east to maintain. see this link for details: maintaining clumping bamboo
Below is a 7 year old Fargesia robusta:
© Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
A classic Clumping Bamboo: gracefully arching plume of dark green, feather-like leaves, draping from a tight cluster of culms. The photo above was taken in the mid-May, photo below is the same plant in early-September.
© Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
This plant is growing near the entrance to Bamboo Garden
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