Phyllostachys aurea

Plant of the month: February

Phyllostachys aurea

Also known as: fish pole bamboo, golden bamboo

Family: Gramineae

Native to: Fujian and Zhejiand in China

Blooms: several-year period

Habitats: mountainous regions

Where to find it at the BBG&G: Grass Garden

In the northern section of our Grass Garden, in the “Bamboo Maze”, the chosen species for this area is Phyllostachys aurea. This is a “running bamboo” whose rhizomes are known for travelling through the ground quite aggressively (thus, the nickname of “Orient Express”). We have tried to reduce that tendency by planting the root systems within landscaping root control sheets, in order to keep the plants “well-educated”.

Phyllostachys aurea is a graceful evergreen bamboo producing large clumps of bright green canes 2.5-3.5 metres high becoming yellowish with age and exposure. Leaves linear-lanceolate are yellow to golden-green. The name Phyllostachys means “leaf spike” and refers to the inflorescences. In this genus of bamboos, the stem or culm has a prominent groove, called a sulcus, which runs along the length of each segment (or internode). Because of this, it is one of the most easily identifiable genera of bamboo.