The taxonomy of China’s bamboos still remains in a largely unrevised state as of 2016. The majority of the species has been described since 1980, frequently without knowledge of the flowers, due to the often very long flowering cycles (up to 150 years). Generic delimitation has often been highly speculative and remains controversial[
Many species in Fargesia lack dense, spathed, unilateral inflorescences. As their flowers have become known, it has been proposed that several should be moved into the genus Borinda, which has been established specifically to accommodate such clump-forming species. In order for all these species to be listed under the same genus, we are following the treatment in the Flora of China[
] where they are all temporarily maintained under Fargesia[
The relationships among Fargesia, Thamnocalamus, Yushania, and allies are currently (2016) under investigation[
Borinda grossa (T.P.Yi) Stapleton
Yushania grossa (T.P.Yi) Demoly
Fargesia grossa is a clump-forming, evergreen bamboo that can grow 5 - 12 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are 20 - 45mm in diameter with thin-walled internodes 25 - 50cm long[
]. The plant spreads slowly by means of short rhizomes, eventually forming quite a large, dense clump.
The canes form a very important minor forestry product in Bhutanm where they are widely harvested throughout the plant's range range[
E. Asia - Himalayas in Bhutan, Tibet and the eastern Himalayas
Wetter temperate mixed coniferous forests, often associated with hemlock; at elevations from 2,600 - 3,200 metres in central and eastern Bhutan[
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Fargesia grossa is found at elevations up to 3,200 metres in the himalayas, where it experiences frost and snow. We do not know how hardy this species is, but the genus Fargesia is, in general, one of the hardiest genera of Bamboos and most species, if not all, experience at least some frost and snow in their native habitat. It should be possible to grow most of these species at least in the warmer regions of the temperate zone, with some species hardy to zone 5.
Succeeds in full sun and in partial shade. Species in this genus generally tolerate a wide range of soils and sites, though they prefer a damp humus-rich soil in sun or semi-shade[
]. They grow best in a position sheltered from cold winds[
]. Plants are generally not very tolerant of dry conditions[
This is a clump-forming species[
] that does not hinder the regeneration of forests in its native range since the tree seedlings are able to germinate and re-produce in the gaps between the clumps[
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.
The canes have level nodes, thin walls and long internodes. They split easily and are suitable for weaving into baskets, fencing sections, mats for house roofing etc[
]. This is one of the most important of the minor forestry products in Bhutan and is widely harvested throughout its range[
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 late spring[
]. Best done as the new shoots first appear above ground[
]. 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[