Monday, September 17, 2012

Clumping bamboos hitting their stride

This is the time of year when the subtropical clumping bamboos in our front yard hit their stride. All are in the genus Bambusa and all are in the midst of pushing new culms. Looking at the photos below, it’s hard to believe these bamboos have been in the ground less than four years.

This is what you see as you walk out through the front door:

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LEFT: Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’
RIGHT: Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’

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LEFT: Bambusa chungii ‘Barbellata’
RIGHT: Bambusa oldhamii

The Bambusa oldhamii, or giant clumping timber bamboo, is in the front of the fence where a Bradford pear had once been (read this post to find out more about the transformation of this spot). The new culms on the Bambusa oldhamii are 2½ inches in diameter.

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Bambusa oldhamii

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LEFT: Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’
RIGHT: Bambusa oldhamii

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LEFT: Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’
RIGHT: Bambusa oldhamii

Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’ is what arches over the walkway that goes to the front door from the driveway. These culms/branches get trimmed regularly, otherwise we wouldn’t be able to get to the front door without jungle gear.

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Bambusa multiplex ‘Alphonse Karr’

Walking around the outside of the fence in front of the house, we get to an emerald bamboo (Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’). This lush bamboo has begun to arch gently over the sidewalk but the tops of the leaning culms are high enough that no trimming has been necessary.

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

This bamboo has the craziest culms of any I’ve ever seen. Some grow perfectly straight while others look twisted like a contortionist in a circus.

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

The culm on the left in the photo below (and in the two photos below it) originally grew towards the fence, hit it, made a sharp turn and from there began to grow straight up.

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

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Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’

The last clumping bamboo in the front yard is inside the fence from the Bambusa textilis ‘Mutabilis’. It’s an Asian lemon bamboo; its Latin name is a tongue twister if there ever was one: Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’.

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Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’

New culms are lemon yellow (hence the common name) and then turn to a burnished gold. This is a more compact species and has been a slower grower than the other Bambusa.

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Bambusa eutuldoides ‘Viridividatta’

I’m very pleased with the way these bamboos look. In fact, if I could, I would place them in suspended animation so they stay just the way they are right now. But that isn’t going to happen, so going forward I expect I will need to do more maintenance than I’ve been doing so far. Unless you have a large piece of land, no bamboo is maintenance-free, not even clumpers.

2 comments:

  1. Your bambusas looks great and are sizing up really well. Wish they were hardy enough to grow but alas none of them are (although some are reasonably root hardy at least).

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    1. I keep hoping that we won't have a crazy winter any time soon that might knock them back. Bambusa chungii is only hardy to the low 20s, and it's my favorite.

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