Mark A. Miller
Plant Common Name
Beechey's Bamboo, Clumping Bamboo
This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.
A traditional source of tender, edible bamboo shoots in southern China, Beechey's bamboo is a clumping bamboo native to southernmost China and Hong Kong. It was first collected in 1827 in Macao, by a naturalist on a ship captained by F. W. Beechey. This tree-like grass quickly grows into a dense clump with tall, arching culms that create a fountain-like silhouette.
All bamboos are grasses with woody-type stems called culms which are divided into sections. Beechey's bamboo has wrist-wide, thick but hollow, upright culms that quickly taper as they elongate. The culms are dark green. Newly emerging shoots are apricot in color, and then become covered in white powder. The emerald green leaves are linear to lance-shaped and produced in pairs, many pairs are crowded on the branches.
Bamboo flowering is unusual, the flowers are similar to other grasses and the fruits grain-like, but the conditions and age of the plant for flowering is not completely understood.
Beechey's bamboo is a tropical grass that grows best in warm, moist, well-drained soil and full sun. It is somewhat cold hardy and will survive mild subfreezing temperatures in winter, but sustain progressively more leaf dieback and browning with prolonged cold. The spread of this bamboo is slow, the rhizomes or underground stems grow only a short distance from the clump before sending up new culms. It isn't invasive, but will quickly become a dense clump of numerous culms. Use it as an accent in an Asian-inspired garden design or as a wind-resistant shade or screening plant in mild winter regions.
AHS Heat Zone
12 - 7
USDA Hardiness Zone
8 - 12
H1, H2, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
35'-50' / 10.7m - 15.2m
Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Edible, Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical
Sharp or Has Thorns