A very nice person gave me some bamboo as a gift, and I'm at a complete
loss as to what it's growth habit, hardiness, and growth requirements
are- any suggestions on (preferably internet based) resources I can use
to look up information on it?
The species is: Sasa asahina
(The grower's website, www.bamboogarden.com/usage.htm, merely lists it
as 'suitable for ground cover', and nothing more. A google search was
even less fruitful.)
Sasa is a derivative of the Japanese word 'zasa', meaning small - all of the
cultivars of Sasa are lower growing, spreading bamboos, suitable for
groundcovers. Most are found naturally in damp hollows or woodlands and all
will prefer partial shade and moist, rich soils. They are very hardy, most
easily withstanding temps below 0F, -20F is generally considered the lower
limit. These are serious runners - site carefully, plant in a container or
use some sort of recommended bamboo containment system.
I am not familiar with this particular species, which is also sometimes
referred to as S. schimidzuana. You might want to locate a good bamboo
reference for details or contact the American Bamboo Society.
pam - gardengal
Good suggestions- thanks! Those names did the trick.
As for this species' invasiveness, this will be a container plant grown
high above the blacktop on a balcony. I'll take appropriate steps to
make sure the refuse from pruning is desiccated and kept out of the
compost. (But thanks for the warning, it's good to know)
I beg to differ Pam. Sasa shimidzuana can get up to 6 ft tall
according to "Bamboo for Gardens" by Ted Meredith. My young Sasa
palmata is already 4 ft tall and will eventually get 7 ft tall. Sasa
asahina is not in the book.
Paul Bunyan, he chokes them with his bare hands.
On the serious side their are a number of different bamboos. Talking in
generalities, there are two types of bamboo, clumping and spreading
(running). The clumping can be controlled. The spreading is difficult
to control unless grown in containers. Spreading bamboos have the
capability of sending rhizomes out distances roughly equal to the height
of the tallest bamboo. For example, a ten-foot tall bamboo can send
rhizomes out 8-10 feet before sending up a new shoot. Bamboo rhizomes
are generally shallow, less than one foot in depth. If the bamboo has
nowhere else to spread, it can send its rhizomes deeper. Water is a
natural barrier. Streams or consistently wet sites such as bogs act as
barriers that the bamboo will not cross.
Bamboo does all its growing in less than three months. Bamboo that is
five feet tall and 1/2 inch in diameter can be the same age as bamboo
that is 100 feet tall and a foot in diameter. Moso bamboo will
eventually stand 70-75 feet tall. During growing season, the moso
grows three feet in 24 hours. Some people claim they can hear it
growing. The world's record was one of Japan's commonest bamboos
(Phyllostachys bambusoides), which grew almost four feet (121 cm) in one
At 36m (118 ft) Dendrocalamus brandisii is the world's tallest bamboo.
Pardon my spam deterrent; send email to email@example.com
Here's a Bamboo Expert on Radio Japan a few years ago, that I saved because
of the delivery as much as anything, but mentioning some of the odd facts
He divides bamboo into native to Japan and not.
No need to be too afraid of it, as long as you put a stake through the heart of
any prunings, wrap them in garlic and bury them in a lead-lined casket under a
full moon. ;)
I've been busy this year spreading my 7 groves of bamboo around. ;)
Running bamboos ARE invasive, but that doesn't necessarily mean one should
discard any thoughts to planting them. With a little time and effort, they
can be very adequately contained and their spread satisfactorily
restricted.. And many of the sasas and some of the dwarf forms of
Pleioblastus make excellent, evergreen container subjects, specially those
offering variegated foliage. I have Pleioblatus variegatus growing in a 20"
ceramic pot and it is a full, lush evergreen accent to my shady front porch
all 12 months of the year.
Even larger growing running bamboos can be grown in containers - you just
need to size the container accordingly.
pam - gardengal
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