Scientific: Bambusa species
Common: bamboo
Family: Poaceae (a monocot grass)
Origin: southern Asia

Pronounciation: Bam-BOO-sa SPEE-sheez

Hardiness zones
6-9, 12-24
USDA 8-11

Landscape Use: Restricted planter beds, container plants, raised planter beds, mesic landscape designs, water gardens, background, wall screen, ground cover, foliar accent

Form & Character: Evergreen, oriental, tropical, erect.

Growth Habit: Monocot, technically a perennial clumping grass plant. Its growth is highly variable depending on species and cultivar. Generally though it groes culms (fully preformed stem) that emerge from the ground and gives rise to clumps or spreading via underground rhizomes. Bamboo are sometimes arborescent (tree-like) or rarely woody climbers.

Foliage/Texture: Sessile, sheathed, lanceolate leaves, on green stems that sometimes bear spines, variable, can be variegated or multi-colored; fine to coarse texture.

Flowers & Fruits: Both flowers and fruit are inconspicuous in Phoenix landscapes.

Seasonal Color: None

Temperature: Heat sensitive, especially when young. In Phoenix, plant on north and east sides of buildings for heat protection.

Light: Partial sun to shade in Phoenix. No reflected sunlight or western exposures.

Soil: Tolerant

Watering: Regular

Pruning: Restrict rhizome spread with root barriers of concrete borders.

Propagation: Division of clumps in spring.

Disease and pests: Spider mites on dry dusty leaves.

Additional comments: Bambusa is an incredibly diverse and complex genus of about 150 species of clumping perennial grasses from subtropical and tropical regions of Asia through Indonesia into Australia. It has also naturalized in tropical regions of North and South America. Bambusa olhamii can be grown in southwestern landscapes using drip irrigation to control spread. Be careful to contain bamboo when using as a landscape shrub, it can and will penetrate asphalt.

Bamboo has undergone a somewhat recent resurgence in popularity for use in woodworking by the artsy, affluent and aging hippy eco-crowd.