Phyllostachys nuda is an evergreen bamboo that can grow from 5 - 9 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are around 20 - 40mm in diameter with thin-walled internodes up to 32cm 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. This tendency to run, however, is somewhat curtailed in cooler climates, where new shoot production can be rather reduced. Although generally evergreen, the plant can lose its leaves in cold winters.
The plant is harvested from the wild and also cultivated for used as a food and a source of materials. It is grown as an ornamental in gardens.
E. Asia - southeast China (Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui and Hunan)
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Phyllostachys nuda dislikes prolonged exposure to hard frosts[
], but plants have tolerated temperatures down to -22°c and are among the hardiest members of this genus[
]. They do not grow very well in subtropical climates.
Requires a rich damp soil in a sheltered position and plenty of moisture in the growing season[
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.
Young shoots - raw or cooked. A delicious flavour[
]. Of excellent quality, they are only slightly acrid raw[
], boiling them for a short time makes them suitable for salads[
]. The shoots, which are 2 - 4cm in diameter[
], 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 have shallow root systems that do not compete with deep tree roots[
The canes have thick walls and, whilst not of the highest quality, can be used for many purposes including plant supports, all-round farm use, umbrella shafts, desk and chair legs[
]. The hard culms are often used as handles of farm implements[
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.