Arundinaria tessellata (Nees) Munro
Nastus tessellatus Nees
Thamnocalamus tessellatus (Nees) Soderstr. & R.P.Ellis
Common Name: Bergbamboes
Bergbambos tessellata is a clump-forming, evergreen bamboo that can grow 1 - 7 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are around 20mm in diameter with thin-walled internodes[
]. The plant spreads slowly by means of elongated rhizomes with internodes 25 - 30cm long, eventually forming quite a large, often loose clump.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of materials. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
Africa - eastern S. Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland
Stream lines, damp rocky slopes and forest margins, at elevations from 1,500 - 2,500 metres.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Bergbambos tessellata is not hardy outside the milder regions of the temperate zone, it tolerates short-lived temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c[
Prefers a good loamy soil but succeeds in most soils, so long as they remain moist in the summer, in sun or a shady position[
]. Dislikes drought[
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
Bamboos have an interesting method of growth. Each plant produces a number of new stems annually - these stems grow to their maximum height in their first year of growth, subsequent growth in the stem being limited to the production of new side branches and leaves. In the case of some mature tropical species the new stem could be as much as 30 metres tall, with daily increases in height of 30cm or more during their peak growth time. This makes them some of the fastest-growing species in the world[
Bamboos in general are usually monocarpic, living for many years before flowering, then flowering and seeding profusely for a period of 1 - 3 years before usually dying. This pattern can vary - sometimes flowering is sporadic, with plants flowering annually and not dying; at other times it is gregarious with all the plants in a specific species coming into flower at the same time.
Valuable for screen planting in wet areas[
The canes can be used as plant supports[
]. They were used by the Zulus for construction, fencing, reinforcing their shields and for making arrows and spear shafts[
Seed - surface sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20°c. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination usually takes place fairly quickly so long as the seed is of good quality, though it can take 3 - 6 months. Grow on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Seed is rarely available.
Division in spring as new growth commences. Take divisions with at least three canes in the clump, trying to cause as little root disturbance to the main plant as possible. Grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse in pots of a high fertility sandy medium. Mist the foliage regularly until plants are established. Plant them out into their permanent positions when a good root system has developed, which can take a year or more[
Basal cane cuttings.