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BAMBUSA ventricosa

Image of Bambusa ventricosa

James H. Schutte

Family

Poaceae

Botanical Name

BAMBUSA ventricosa

Plant Common Name

Buddha's Belly Bamboo, Clumping Bamboo, Ventricose Bamboo

General Description

Buddha’s belly bamboo is a clumping bamboo native to China. All bamboos are grasses with woody-type stems called culms which are divided into sections. Buddha’s belly bamboo has large upright, arching culms which are dark green and are occasionally branched. The dark green leaves are linear to lance-shaped; Buddha’s belly 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 2 and 7 years of age and many bamboos decline and some die after flowering. Buddha’s belly bamboo is often grown for the culms which when pot bound or exposed to poor, dry condition swell between the nodes, giving the plant it’s common name.

Buddha’s belly bamboo is a tropical grass, prefers moist well-drained soil and full sun. It is somewhat cold hardy and will take temperatures in the twenties. 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. One of the most popular bamboos for growing in containers where it is slow growing.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 9

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    9 - 11

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Grass

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-55' / 1.8m - 16.8m

  • Native To

    China, Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Clump-Forming

  • 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

    Dark 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

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Container, Feature Plant, Screening / Wind Break, Topiary / Bonsai / Espalier, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    No