Bambusa sulphurea Carrière
Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. Sulphurea (Carrière) S.Y.He
Phyllostachys faberi Rendle
Phyllostachys reticulata sulphurea (Carrière) Makino
Phyllostachys viridis (R.A.Young) McClure
Common Name: Ougon-Kouchiku
Phyllostachys sulphurea is an evergreen bamboo that can grow 7 - 8 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are 30 - 40mm in diameter with thin-walled internodes. 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. This tendency to run, however, is somewhat less in cooler climates, where new shoot production can be rather reduced.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a source of food and materials. It is much grown as an ornament in gardens[
The plant has a running rootstock and can become invasive in warmer climates. In cooler regions of the temperate zone, however, it does not produce enough new shoots to be invasive but it still wanders about a bit.
E. Asia - eastern China.
Not known in a truly wild state, this form arose from garden cultivation.
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Phyllostachys sulphurea is generally a very hardy species, tolerating temperatures down to about -20°c, but persistent cold springs make the plant lazy in sending up new canes. It dislikes prolonged exposure to hard frosts.
Grows best in a sunny position, tolerating light shade. Requires a rich damp soil in a sheltered position and plenty of moisture in the growing season. Tolerates dry conditions.
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.
Plants only flower at intervals of many years. When they do come into flower most of the plants energies are directed into producing seed and consequently the plant is severely weakened. They sometimes die after flowering, but if left alone they will usually recover though they will look very poorly for a few years. If fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time the plants are more likely to die[
New shoots appear in late May. It does not reach a good size in cooler climes.
Although classed as a species, some botanists view it as a cultivated form of the true wild species, Pyllostachys sulphurea viridis. It was the first form seen and named in the west and thereby received specific status.
Young shoots - raw or cooked. Virtually free of acridity even when raw[
], they can be thinly sliced and eaten raw in salads but are usually boiled first[
]. The shoots are harvested in the spring when they are about 8cm above the ground, cutting them about 5cm below soil level.
This is a good companion species to grow in a woodland because the plants are shallow rooted and do not compete with deep rooted trees[
The canes are used in construction. They are said to have excellent technological properties[
]. The hard but rather brittle culms are used in house construction and for handles of farm tools[
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. Divisions from the open ground do not transplant well, so will need careful treatment and nurturing under cover in pots until at least late spring[
]. Division is best carried out in wet weather and small divisions will establish better than large clumps[
]. Another report says that you can take large divisions from established clumps and transfer them straight to their permanent positions, misting or drenching them frequently until they are established[
Basal cane cuttings in spring.