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BAMBUSA oldhamii

Image of Bambusa oldhamii

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

BAMBUSA oldhamii

Plant Common Name

Clumping Bamboo, Giant Timber Bamboo, Oldham's Bamboo

General Description

Giant timber bamboo is a clumping bamboo native to China and Taiwan. All bamboos are grasses with woody-type stems called culms which are divided into sections and also produce thin branches. Giant timber bamboo has huge, thick, upright culms that are smooth with no teeth or spines and are mostly hollow. The culms are pale green to dark green. The dark green leaves are linear to lance-shaped and produced in pairs, many pairs are crowded on the branches. Giant timber bamboo is a very leafy bamboo. 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. Flowering seems to occur between two and seven years of age and many bamboos decline and some die after flowering.

Giant timber bamboo is a tropical grass, prefers moist, well-drained soil and full sun. It is somewhat cold hardy and will take temperatures just below freezing. 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, which is rapid in warm, moist soil. One of the most popular bamboos in cultivation, giant timber bamboo is a great plant for screens. In the coolest part of its hardiness range, this bamboo may only reach 10 feet (3 m) in height. Protect this plant from drying winds.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    8 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-65' / 3.0m - 19.8m

  • Native To

    China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Upright/Erect

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    None

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Dark Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Dark Green

  • Bark Color

    Green

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Coarse

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No