Indosasa spongiosa is an evergreen bamboo that can grow 5 - 8 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are 10 - 60mm in diameter with thin-walled internodes 20 - 35cm 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 source of materials. A beautiful bamboo, it is sometimes grown as an ornamental[
E. Asia - southern China (southern Hunan)
At elevations around 800 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
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[
The stems are used as supports[
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.