Black Bamboo

1 Apr

 

Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), evergreen running bamboo 10 to 15 feet in height, easy to control, great in pots, stems are olive green the first year, then age to black.

 With jet black culms and feathery green leaves, this is one of the most sought after bamboos. Under ideal conditions Black Bamboo will grow to 35 feet in height with culms over 2 inches in diameter, but 25 feet is its average height in most climates, and it stays much smaller when grown in containers. There has been at least one instance where Black Bamboo has been measured at over 45 feet, but this appears to be very rare. 
    New culms emerge green every spring and gradually turn black in one to three years. There is always a contrast of light and dark culms balanced by slender, dark green leaves. This bamboo is initially slow to spread, through when mature, it can be quite vigorous. If planted in poor soil it tends to grow in a tight cluster, producing mostly thin, weepy culms. 
P. nigra should be given a generous layer of rich topsoil, composed of compost or aged manure and mulch, and space to grow unimpeded. It makes an outstanding specimen, if well cared for, and can be the focal point of any garden. It can also be shaped to form a dense hedge for privacy.
Black Bamboo and P. nigra ‘Bory’  are among the most prized bamboos for decorative wood working. Both will retain their dark or mottled colors when dried. 

 

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