Phyllostachys atrovaginata – ‘Incense’

Phyllostachys atrovaginata ‘Incense’ -  A medium tall, light green bamboo (to 25 ft), with unusually thick canes, to 3 inches, and a subtle smell of sandalwood.  Its profuse branches have an interesting horizontal habit. The canes, besides being very large in diameter for their height, are extremely upright, making this variety useful in narrow applications.  In addition, Incense is adapted to growing in very wet conditions, with air canals in its roots. Try this one in wetlands or a water garden.  Incense thrives equally well under dryer conditions.  Edible sweet shoots.

Evergreen to –5 F (-21 C)   Full sun




Phyllostachys aurea ‘Golden’

Phyllostachys aurea  ‘Golden’ -  A mainstay of the landscaping industry, and for good reason. An excellent choice for a brilliant, light green hedge 15 to 18 ft in height, Goldenis both vigorous and slow to spread. Its stout 1.5-inch canes are very upright and tough with a multitude of densely leafed branches. It is easily identified by the compressed internodes of the lower portion of the canes. This charming characteristic makes for a perfect handle, and provides for a profusion of low branches, making a dense hedge right down to grade even when the plant is kept quite narrow Golden earns its name by the way in which it appears to glow with an inner golden light bursting from within its light green exterior.  In the dead of winter it warms the garden, and cheers the soul. Once established, Golden is able to tolerate much colder and dryer conditions than the hardiness numbers would indicate. It is widely grown in both Spokane and Boise. Edible sweet shoots.

Evergreen to 0 degrees F (-18 C).  Full sun.



Phyllostachys aurea ‘Holochrysa’

Phyllostachys aurea ‘Holochrysa’ -   This cultivar of  P. aurea is even more golden than its parent stock. The canes start out green but soon turn pure gold and eventually golden orange.  The leaves remain a vibrant light green. The wide color differences make for a very splendid ornamental. Equally vigorous but less invasive, Holochrysa makes an excellent choice for a narrow hedge 15 to 18 ft high. Otherwise very similar to P. aurea.  

Hardy (evergreen) to 0 degrees F (-18 C).  Full sun.



Phyllostachys aurea ‘Koi’

Phyllostachys aurea ‘Koi’  -   This cultivar of  P. aurea is distinguished by a broad green stripe in the groove of the cane. If possible, Koi is even more vigorous than its parent, especially when young or in a pot.  Our 5 gal pots of Koi are typically fuller and stouter than Golden. Koi is an excellent choice for retail sales. Edible sweet shoots. Otherwise similar to P. aurea.

Evergreen to 0 degrees F (-18 C).  Full sun.




Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Yellow Groove’

Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Yellow Groove’ -  A beautiful large, dark green ornamental  bamboo with a  vivid yellow stripe filling the sulcis (groove) on the culms. In addition, Yellow Groove bamboo has a spectacular zig-zag habit. Many of its canes will angle back and forth up to 45 degrees at the nodes before straightening out and continuing on up.  After three or four years, dense masses of leaves bend over the tops of this 30 ft plant creating a fountain of greenery. Sweet shoots. Yellow Groove is extremely hardy and is at home anywhere in the NW and throughout British Columbia. 

Evergreen to –15 F (-26 C) Likes full sun.





Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. aureocaulis 'Golden Crookstem'

Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. aureocaulis   ‘Golden Crookstem’ -  Our favorite golden caned bamboo. An outstanding member of the Yellow Groove family, Golden Crookstem sends up multitudes of new canes very early in the spring, which quickly turn a brillant  red before eventually taking on a deep golden glow.  Thin green striping on the canes, a zigzag habit, and thick cascades of dark green leaves complete a most beautiful plant. Golden Crookstem is extremely hardy and withstands the strongest winds. Somewhat smaller than Yellow Groove, more upright in habit, and equally hardy, Golden Crookstem should be among everyone’s first choices for a medium sized  bamboo. At home anywhere in the NW and British Columbia. Edible sweet shoots.


Evergreen to – 15 F (-26C)    Full sun to partial shade.




Phyllostachys aureosucata 'Spectabilis'

Phyllostachys aureosucata  ‘Spectabilis’  -  The inverse form of its parent, Yellow Groove, with bright yellow canes and a wide green stripe in the sulcis (groove) of the canes. The new canes are wrapped in pink and green striped sheathes. Spectabilis displays a zigzag habit – many of canes the come up vertical before leaning dramatically one way and back the other before becoming vertical once more. Spectabilis differs from Golden Crookstem by being larger (30 ft), and its canes being a much lighter yellow with a wide green stripe. The entire Yellow Groove family is very spectacular and this cultivar easily holds its own. Edible sweet shoots.  At home anywhere in the NW and British Columbia.

Evergreen to –15 F (-26C)  Full sun to light shade.



Phyllostachys bissetii 

Phyllostachys bissetii  -  Easily the darkest green of all temperate bamboos. Bissetii is also the toughest. If you doubt bamboo will survive in your location, try this one. Very aggressive, give Bissetii plenty of room, a stout barrier, or keep in a pot. Excellent choice for bank stabilization or erosion control. Bissetii usually stays under 20 ft tall with a huge number of canes to 1” diameter. Edible sweet shoots. Windproof.

Evergreen to at least –20 degrees F (-29 C)



Phyllostachys mannii ‘Decora’

Phyllostachys mannii ‘Decora’ -  A large (30 ft), and very vigorous timber bamboo, with canes to 2.5 inches. Decora is known for heavy cascades of bright green leaves, which will often bend multi-year canes over almost to the ground, creating a beautiful fountain of green.  Decora is very well adapted to harsh conditions. It is extremely hardy, and is famous for thriving in the hot, dry and windy conditions of northern Nevada deserts.

Evergreen to –15 F (-29 C)  Full sun




Phyllostachys heteroclada ‘Purpurata’

Phyllostachys heteroclada  ‘Purpurata’  -  A dark green, short (18 ft), bamboo with very strong canes and a rigidly horizontal branching habit.  The culm leaf blades are a vivid purple – hence the name. Purpurata is adapted for extremely wet conditions with air channels in the roots allowing it to flourish in several inches of water.  Far hardier in our region than the numbers indicate, Purpurata also grows well under dry conditions.

Evergreen to  0 F (-18 C )  Full sun




Phyllostachys humilis

Phyllostachys humilis - The shortest member of the genus, Humilis is useful for hedges 12 to 15 ft in height. Multitudes of medium green canes, up to 1 inch diameter, thickly populate an ever-expanding area. Quickly becomes impenetrable. Should be contained or given plenty of room.


Evergreen to 0 F (-18 C)



Phyllostachys nigra ‘Black’

Phyllostachys nigra ‘Black’ -  A large and beautiful ornamental bamboo with an arching habit and polished black canes. Black is also distinguished by its extremely well behaved rate of spread. Black, under normal conditions, will confine itself to a 3-4 ft diameter circle for many decades, reaching full height and producing dozens of large (30 ft)  canes which arch outwards under the weight of masses of small, lacey leaves. New canes come up green and over the next two seasons turn solid black. Mature wood is of very high quality, holding its shiny black color even after curing.  In Asia, Black is extensively used for furniture making. Due to its ability to thrive in shade, Black is also a very popular for indoor applications.


Evergreen to 0 degrees F (-18 C)  Full sun to full shade.




Phyllostachys nigra ‘Hale’

Phyllostachys nigra ‘Hale’ -  A selection of Black bamboo which is smaller, hardier, and turns totally black sooner. Hale should stay under 20 ft in height. Many canes turn black by the end of the first growing season. Most importantly, Hale appears to resist winter leaf burn in cold climates. Otherwise indistinguishable from Black.

Evergreen to –5F (-21 C)  Full sun to full shade.



Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henon’

Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henon’   -  A very large and very beautiful timber bamboo, easily capable of producing 60 ft culms, 4 inches (11 cm) in diameter.  Henon is a member of the Black family, but remains totally green with an erect habit. Beautiful and graceful, Henon also produces thick walled, construction quality canes.  A slow spreader, Henon is our recommended timber bamboo for milder regions in the NW and British Columbia.

Evergreen to – 5 F (-21 C)  Full sun to partial shade.





Phyllostachys nigra ‘Megurochiku’

Phyllostachys nigra ‘Megurochiku’  -  A very large (to 45 ft) timber bamboo similar to Henon, but with a black stripe in the cane groove.  A member of the Nigra family, it shares with other members of the family a beautiful lacey leaf structure, erect habit, and very slow spread. The canes, up to 3 inches in diameter, are thick walled, strong and straight.

Evergreen to 0 F (-18 C)  Full sun to partial shade.





Phyllostachys nuda

Phyllostachys nuda  -  One of the most cold hardy of all bamboos.  Nuda stays under 20 ft in our region, with multitudes of hard 1 inch canes. Very erect with small leaves, it makes an excellent hedge anywhere in the NW or British Columbia. Tolerates shade well. Edible sweet shoots.

Evergreen to –20 F (-29 C)  Full sun or shade.



Phyllostachys rubromarginata

Phyllostachys rubromarginata  -  Easily the best northern timber bamboo for those primarily interested in production of high quality building material. Rubro is a bit less leafy than most bamboos. The mature plant resembles a 50 ft tall pipe organ – tightly packed, very upright, 3 inch canes, thick walled and straight. The nodes are almost nonexistent and the canes can be evenly split.  In Alabama trials, Rubro easily out produced all other timbers in pole production. Edible sweet shoots. Much hardier than the numbers indicate: east of the mountains this is the timber to try.

Evergreen to at least  –5 F (-21C)  Full sun to partial shade.



Phyllostachys vivax

Phyllostachys vivax  -  Largest of all the northern timber bamboos, Vivax is also among the most beautiful. With large bright green leaves, gigantic 5 inch canes, and very quick growth to 50 ft, Vivax overwhelms all other bamboos in the garden.  Although the canes are not as strong as either Henon or Rubro, their superior size makes them very useful in many applications. The most cold hardy of all the giant timbers, Vivax has long been successfully grown in Boise, Idaho (zone 3A). Edible sweet shoots.

Evergreen to –5 F (-21 C)  Full sun.



Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis

Phyllostachys vivax aureocaulis  -  A golden form of Vivax,  with a narrow green stripe on cream colored canes. Otherwise similar to Vivax. Edible sweet shoots.

Evergreen to –5 F (-21 C).  Full sun.



Fargesia nitida ‘Blue Fountain’

Fargesia nitida ‘Blue Fountain’  -  A clumping bamboo, and one of the most winter hardy of all bamboos, Blue Fountain, makes a dazzling understory for the garden. A multitude of straight, slender canes (1/2 inch) grow to 8 ft from a slowly expanding center. The canes are covered with a blue waxy powder. Adapted to full shade, it often curls its leaves in full sun but is otherwise unaffected. In China, Blue Fountain is foraged by the Giant Panda.

Evergreen to –20 F (-29 C)  Full shade.



Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’

Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’  -  The best clumping bamboo for northern gardens with hot sunny summers. Rufa can tolerate full sun without curling its leaves. Red-orange canes with masses of bright green foliage, Rufa spread slowly and stays under 8 ft. May also be used as a understory, as it tolerates full shade.  A recent introduction from China (1990s), Rufa grows quickly and is the earliest of all bamboos to shoot in the spring, usually early April.

Evergreen to at least –10 F (-24 C)  Full sun to full shade.



Semiarundinaria fastuosa ‘Viridis’ - ‘Green Temple’

Semiarundinaria fastuosa ‘Viridis’ -  ‘Green Temple’ -  Almost all of the large northern bamboos are members of the genus Phyllostachys,  Green Temple is a notable exception  No grooves in these canes and the branches burst in threes from under large, iridescent, creamy culm sheathes. Narrow, dense, and completely vertical, Green Temple is easily the best choice for a narrow hedge up to 20 ft tall. A modest spreader, and  tolerant both of salt air and poor soils.

Evergreen to –5 F (-21 C)   Full sun