Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Shooting bamboos

No, I’m not talking about practicing your gun skills. I’m talking about bamboo shoots rising from the earth like an army of zombies hell-bent on taking over the world. (OK, I got a bit carried away there.)

It’s the time of year when many running bamboos begin to shoot. Since we live on a small lot within the city limits, all our running bamboos are confined to containers. This limits their growth potential but I still enjoy checking for progress every day.

Here are some of the running bamboos that are shooting at the moment:

110412_Pleioblastus-viridistriatus
Dwarf greenstripe (Pleioblastus viridistriatus). Its color is so electric, it makes this dark corner of our back yard glow.
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Chinese walking stick (Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda). The shoots turn into culms (“canes”) in just a matter of days. This species loses its culm sheaths much more quickly than any other I’ve observed.
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Koi (Phyllostachys aurea ‘Koi’). In addition to the two fat shoots, there’s a third one, barely visible.
110412_Phyllostachys-aurea-Koi
Koi (Phyllostachys aurea ‘Koi’)
110412_Semiarundinaria-fastuosa
Temple bamboo (Semiarundinaria fastuosa). The two shoots on the right are fairly wispy and won’t impress hard-core bamboo aficionados, but I love seeing even modest new growth on a potted plant.
110412_Phyllostachys-nigra_02
Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra).
In this pot since 2009.
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Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra).
Six shoots so far, much thicker than the existing culms. Funny how all of the new shoots are on one side of the pot.
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Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra)
110412_Phyllostachys-nigra_05a
Black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra). Amazing how intricate (and odd-looking) the anatomical structures of a bamboo shoot are.

6 comments:

  1. So how many times a day do you go out to check on the shoots? :-)

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  2. It's a fantastic time of the year isn't it, seeing bamboos shooting. You're a tad advanced from us when it comes to shooting. Looking forward to the Phyllostachys shooting here, usually June onwards :)

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  3. Just found three more 'Koi' shoots. At the rate my potted runners are going, I'll need to do some serious rhizome pruning later in the year.

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  4. Do you have any motane clumpers and are they shooting, too? For me, Fargesia, yes, Borinda, Himalayacalamus, not yet.

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  5. David, yes, I do. Fargesia dracocephala
    ‘Rufa’, Fargesia robusta, Fargesia apicirubens ‘White Dragon’ and Thamnocalamus crassinodus 'Aristatus' are shooting at the moment. In my experience, the borindas shoot a little later, with Borinda papyrifera being the first.

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