The Phyllostachys bamboos are a large group of tall
bamboos of 12-25ft in height with calms of up to 2 inches in diameter.
In general they grow more vigorously and attain their largest proportions
where summers are long and hot, provided there is adequate moisture.
However, this should not deter those from cooler p arts of the British
Isles from growing these lovely bamboos. Under cooler conditions
they merely attain more modest proportions and in some species they
tend to take on a less erect and more arching habit. The Phyllostachys
are for the most part only moderately invasive, while displaying
a fine range of highly decorative culm colouration, particularly
in some of the more recently introduced cultivars. Colours of mature
canes range from the bright yellow of Phyllostachys bambusoides
'Holochrysa' through the yellow with a bright green stripe m the
groove of Phyllostachys bambusoides 'Castillonis' and the orange-purple
staining with deep green in the groove of Phyllostachys aureosulcata
'Spectabilis' to the jet polished black of Phyllostachys nigra.
Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' along with Phyllostachys
bissettii are particularly hardy bamboos and to be recommended for
the more northerly garden. Phyllostachys aurea and its fine cultivar
'Holochrysa' with golden-yellow mature culms and lime-green foliage
often with a thin yellow stripe in early season leaves, make smaller
but very statuesque bamboos having only attained about 8ft in height
with me to date. The crowded node bases of P. aurea are a notable
feature. P. nigra is another highly desirable bamboo, which should
be grown in full sun in a sheltered position to show of its best.
Under such conditions it has rewarded me with fine black polished
culms ad masses of cascading dark green foliage.
The stately habit of many Phyllostachys bamboos
makes them particularly suitable for growing close to water. However,
it must be borne in mind that bamboos in general will not tolerate
water logging, but, being shallow rooted, they can be grown on a
raised area of as little as one foot above the 'high water mark'.