Arundinaria borealis (Hack.) Makino
Arundinaria kurilensis spiculosa J.A.Schmidt
Arundinaria purpurascens Hack.
Bambusa borealis Hack.
Bambusa purpurascens (Hack.) Makino
Neosasamorpha tobaeana (Makino & Uchida) Tatew.
Pseudosasa purpurascens (Hack.) Makino
Pseudosasa spiculosa (J.A.Schmidt) Makino
Sasa amabilis Makino & Nakai
Sasa borealis (Hack.) Makino & Shibata
Sasa chiisanensis (Nakai) Y.N.Lee
Sasa morotonensis Koidz.
Sasa purpurascens (Hack.) E.G.Camus
Sasa spiculosa (J.A.Schmidt) Makino
Sasa tobaeana Makino & Uchida
Sasamorpha amabilis Nakai
Sasamorpha chiisanensis Nakai
Sasamorpha gracilis Nakai
Sasamorpha mollis Nakai
Sasamorpha purpurascens (Hack.) Nakai
Sasamorpha sikokiana Koidz.
Sasamorpha tobaeana (Makino & Uchida) Uchida ex Koidz.
Sasamorpha borealis is an evergreen bamboo that can grow 100 - 200cm tall; the erect, woody culms are around 3 - 8mm 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. It quickly forms an open thicket of slender, erect culms topped by a loose canopy of large, spreading leaves[
The plant is sometimes harvested from the wild for local use as a food.
We have no specific information for this species, but members of this genus have a running rootstock that in some species can become rampant and invasive[
The rhizome is gently running.
E. Asia - Russian Far East, Japan, Korea.
Woodlands and damp hollows[
Sasamorpha borealis is native to the temperate zone of central and northern Japan, where winter temperatures can fall below -20°c.
Prefers a position in partial shade, growing best in a good humus rich loam with ample moisture in the growing season[
]. It grows well in thin woodland[
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.
This species is liable to be mistaken for Pseudosasa japonica[
Seed - cooked. It is used as a cereal[
]. The seed is only produced at intervals of several years.
Seed - if possible, surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20°c. Stored seed is best sown as soon as it is received. 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 them on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out, which could be a few years. Plants only flower at intervals of several years and so seed is rarely available.
Division in late 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[