HIMALAYACALAMUS HOOKERIANUS – the artist previously known as Drepanostachym falcatum, is a very upright bamboo. In the landscape this bamboo will grow approximately 30 feet tall. We are told that on the mainland it does not exceed 20 feet but we do not really know the truth of this in any given environment. In it's natural habitat it is what is called an "understory" plant, which means that it grows under the taller forest canopy. This strongly implies the need for filtered light when grown outdoors. In Hawaii it is a perfect mauka plant, enjoying the cool mists. It is also used extensively as a container plant both indoors and out. Extremely statuesque it has great bones and gorgeous coloration ranging from maroon to true aqua canes. The aquamarine canes fade over time (generally about a season) to a mustard yellow. Then the new blue canes come again, usually in about may and again in September. Outdoors it cannot be in direct sun. In the interior it wants light but not a lot of hot direct light. Atriums or well-lit rooms are fine. Please see our section on interiorscape. When we use this plant in containers we tend to prune out some of the previous years growth to allow for the full effect of the startling new aquamarine canes. In the landscape this plant is rated to 15 degrees but we think 20 degrees is a safer number to work with.
DENDROCALAMUS MINOR – One of our new favorites. A beautiful single specimen or anything. The right height and configuration for many applications. Not too big – not too small – just right. Relatively erect, with nodding tops, this plant is graceful with a moderate footprint. Like Bambusa chungii, the new canes of this bamboo are covered in lots of white powder making this plant look like it has white or blue canes when the canes are new.
DREPANOSTACHYM KHASYANUM – is another blue bamboo that we use in much the same way as the Himalayacalamus hookerianus. Again, this is an "understory" plant but this one is a shorter stature plant. In the landscape as well as in containers it will need a similar environment to the Himalayacalamus hookerianus. In Hawaii it grows to about 20 feet tall. We are told it is somewhat shorter on the mainland. This plant is not quite as upright as the hookerianus. The leaves at the end of the canes are the largest (and heaviest) and tend to pull the canes downward in an extremely graceful arc. In situations where we need a more upright profile we prune the tips of the canes until we remove enough weight for the canes to spring upright. The blue on this bamboo is a bit more subtle than the himalayacalamus hookerianus but when this blue fades you are left with highly polished emerald green canes that sport white and maroon bands around each internode. People fall in love with this one all the time.
BAMBUSA TEXTILIS – is a plant not often referred to as a blue bamboo but to our eye it is as blue as the others when it is in it's shooting period, usually twice a year – may and September approximately. This is a taller more versatile plant. In the landscape it can be in either full sun or partial shade. It is equally successful from the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest to the resorts on the Kona coast. It is good down to 15 degrees and can withstand the hot dry winds of southern California or the islands. This one is always perfect and what I planted in front of my house. Love it, love it, love it. Terrific in containers for the interior as well as in the landscape.
BAMBUSA LAKO – One of our all time favorites. Gorgeous in full sun and harsh conditions. This plant has one of the most upright and vertical profiles of any of the clumping bamboos. It is also blessed with a somewhat unusual rhizome configuration that makes it possible and easy (with selective pruning beginning in about year 2) to aproach the look of the archetypal Japanese grove without having the never-ending problems when dealing with a running bamboo. The black of this bamboo is highly polished with intermittent green stripes. Depending on what size plant you start with it might not look black until it's 2nd season. Puts up lovely 4+ inch canes. Terrific by the ocean and the leaves don't get trashed in heavy winds.
BLACK ASPER Dendrocalamus asper betung hitam – This is "da kine" brah!!! If you have the space and want the biggest , the baddest, and the rarest, you probably cannot do much better than this one. In the right environment this bamboo grows up to 80 feet or more and has canes 8-10 inches in diameter. Black in the same way that the g. atroviolacea is black this is a killer plant if you have the space for it.
BAMBUSA CHUNGII WHITE BAMBOO – A highly sought after and rather spectacular ornamental, not really white but absolutely gorgeous. Called white bamboo because the new shoots are covered in soooo much powder to appear white. Canes blueish greenish.
Dendrocalamus Minor – One of our new favorites. Like Bambusa chungii, the new canes of this bamboo are covered in lots of white powder making this plant look like it has white or blue canes when the canes are new.
OTATEA GLAUCA Mayan Silver – New canes have lots of powder, making the canes look silver/blue, hence it’s name. Similar in form to its smaller cousin Mexican Weeping Bamboo, this bamboo is slightly taller. Thrives in the same dry windy conditions.