This species is sometimes spelled as Indosasa shibataeaoides McClure.
Some treatments define Indosasa shibataeoides in a narrower sense, as a very ornamental plant only growing up to 2 metres tall and with upper internodes having a strongly zigzag growth habit with some of the internodes also extremely shortened. In this treatment two more species (treated here as synonyms) are accepted. Indosasa levigata grows around 5 metres tall with culms that turn a golden colour with age; and Indosasa acutiligulata with large culms up to 15 metres tall and 100mm in diameter with beautifully mottled canes that are used for making furniture[
Indosasa acutiligulata Z.P.Wang & G.H.Ye
Indosasa levigata Z.P.Wang & G.H.Ye
Indosasa shibataeaoides McClure
Indosasa tinctilimba McClure
Indosasa shibataeoides is an evergreen bamboo that can grow 10 - 15 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are 50 - 100mm in diameter with thick-walled internodes 40 - 50cm long[
]. 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. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental, especially the form with zigzag stems[
E. Asia - southern China (southern Hunan, Guangdong, northern Guangxi)
Evergreen forests, forming large areas of understory; at elevations from 300 - 1,200 metres[
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Indosasa species are native to warm temperate and subtropical regions of southern China, Vietnam and Laos, usually at lower elevations. The climate is moist, with hot summers and short, mild to warm winters wth few, if any, 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[
]. Especially when grown in areas close to the limits of their hardiness 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 ground[
The stems are used for the manufacture of bamboo furniture, especially those older stems that develop a beautiful mottling[
]. This would relate more to Indosasa acutiligulata if that species is accepted as distinct (see notes above on taxonomy).
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.