Gelidocalamus tessellatus is an evergreen bamboo that can grow around 2 - 3 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are around 10mm in diameter with internodes 20 - 40cm long, occasionally to 65cm[
]. The rhizomes are elongated, the plant having a running habit that can produce new canes some distance from the main clump, especially in warm climates.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and source of materials for weaving.
E. Asia - southern China (Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou)
Undergrowth in hardwood forests on low hills[
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Gelidocalamus species are native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of southern and southeastern China, usually at lower elevations. The climate is moist, with hot summers and short, mild winters wth few frosts. They can generally be grown outdoors in hardiness zones 9 and higher, and with at least moderate levels of rainfall.
Bamboos generally grow best in a sunny or moderately sunny position in a well-drained, fertile, open loam of reasonable quality with plenty of moisture in the growing season[
]. They require a position sheltered from cold or strong winds[
Temperate bamboos have an interesting method of growth. Each plant produces a number of new stems annually – usually in the spring and early summer, and these stems grow to their maximum height in their first two to three months. Any subsequent growth in the stem in future years is limited to the production of new side branches and leaves.
Temperate bamboo species usually grow for many years without flowering. When they do finally flower it is not unusual for all the plants of that species in the region to also flower. They do so profusely over a period of 1 - 3 years and will often then die, probably from exhaustion. Some species, if given plenty of organic matter at this time will gradually recover, although they will look rather poorly for a year or three. If fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time the plants are more likely to die[
Bamboo species are usually notably resistant to honey fungus[
Young shoots, harvested as they emerge from the soil[266. Delicious[
The split stems are used for weaving baskets, mats etc[
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. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out (which could be a few years). Seed of this species is rarely available.
Division in spring as the plant comes into growth. 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[