Was: Hello all, plus pics; now: bamboo discussions


Here’s another photo of the same friend’s madake grove.

My son’s eyes, pupil to pupil, are right about 2-1/4" apart, so I figure that makes this culm 4-1/4" to 4-1/2" in diameter at his head height. That might have been the biggest culm I saw, but I don’t think there was a single culm of madake in that grove under 3" in diameter: they were all fairly close in size.

The pole I brought home, the one I cut into pieces and pieced back together on the sidewalk, was over 36’ not counting the crown, which was very roughly another 18’, and that wasn’t the largest culm in the grove, just a random one that had fallen over. If I remember correctly that pole was about 3-1/2" in diameter at the base, which looks about right from that other photo, so I’d guess the larger culm in this photo would have been 60’ tall.

P. dulcis is supposed to be one of the best for edible shoots (and is supposed to be very productive, too), but from the reports I’ve read P. atrovaginata and P. parvifolia – the two are closely related – are liked even better by people that have eaten shoots from lots of different Phyllostachys species.


That is very comforting to here. I’m curious how long your friend’s grove has been there? I wonder if it was from the group that flowered. This is from Midatlantic Bamboo,
“Phyllostachys bambusoides “Giant Japanese Timber Bamboo” is the most utilized bamboo in Japan where it is valued for its large good quality straight thick-walled culms that are very good for splitting. Prior to extensive flowering in the 1970’s it was widely distributed on the East and West Coast. Many groves died and did not recover; those that did have regained their vegetative vigor and have developed mature groves. The shoots have a bitter taste that can be reduced by par-boiling with fresh water 2 or 3 times. First introduced in the U.S. in 1889 with many subsequent introductions. Our grove came from a recovered grove that flowered in the 70’s. Most of the divisions from the recovered groves have not attained the rated height and diameter listed. The largest culms I have seen from any recovered grove is 55 feet and 4 in in diameter. Groves from divisions that didn’t fower still attain the rated sizes.”

Where the heck did all those seeds go??? It boggles my mind why no one seems to know the answer to this. Maybe the flowers never got pollinated? Either way, 4.5 inches is still a formidable diameter that can do everything I ever need for my construction projects. Also, who has groves from Madake that never flowered? I guess obtaining divisions from the different sources would be the smartest thing to do, if no one knows. Sorry for the rant, but I’ve wondered this for a long time and you are a great resource.


I’ll see if I can get in touch with the friend with the grove – I don’t normally talk to him but about once a year – and see what other information I can get.


I have yellow grove. I find that if I cut it into pole lengths. It often splits as it drys.
If i cut it and leave the top on as it drys , a month or so,it does not split, when cut to pole lengths. Age of poles makes a difference as well. 3yr old is a lot tougher. Younger poles often split,and or don’t serve as long.
I use a battery powered sawzall. Cutting it as low and flat as possible .
A post driver, like you would use for metal t post, works good for driving bamboo poles in the garden


Yes, I wanted one for ornamental reasons, something different. I have Fargesia sp. ‘Scabrida’ for 4 years now. The year I planted we had the polar vortex visit us and this newly planted bamboo died to the ground, but lived. The next winter was fairly cold too, but shoots survived, and it is finally starting to grow. It’s at my cottage where it is extremely shady. It’s about 3 feet tall only but healthy as heck. My wife thought I was crazy for buying bamboo and was not happy, until she saw the plant, she fell in love with it, it is a beautiful bamboo.
I moved it this year because it was in a low spot that remained too wet. I moved it to ground 2 feet higher and it seems really happy. I expect to reach full height as it showed no damage last year and is grew well this year. It’s going to take a few years. Everything grows slow there.
I would like to add Fargesia sp. ‘Jiuzhaigou’ IV, but they want too much money for it.


Would anyone be interested in doing a rhizome exchange? I’d like to add black and moso to my collection, and perhaps a yellow culm variety.

As I noted above, I have:
Sweet Shoot