Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pleioblastus viridistriatus

Pleioblastus viridistriatus is probably my favorite bamboo. The leaves are pretty nicely striped in the spring, but by this time of year they are more of a gold/chartreuse color.
This is a small bamboo, about 2 feet tall, which prefers shade. The leaves will actually curl up in hot afternoon sun. It also likes ample moisture. There are very few bamboos which I would recommend for the garden and this is one of them. That's not to say that it won't try and take over eventually, but it is small and the underground runners are just below the surface, so it is easy to control. It is also slow getting around to spreading beyond its original clump. One of the easy tricks to controling any of the bamboos is to have them in a place where you can mow around them. Mowing keeps them from spreading beyond the area where they are supposed to be growing. Forget underground barriers unless they are thick steel and go down a foot or so into the ground. Bamboo runners have an extremely sharp pointed end that can go through most materials. Of course you can always grow one that is tasty and use the bamboo shoots for Chinese cooking, which will also effectively stop the growth of that stem, at least temporarily.
You might also see this one listed as Pheioblastus auricomus.
Gentle rain right now and much less heat than yesterday. Yeah!

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