Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’

Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’

In April 2011, I found cheap Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’ in one of the shopping centers. I instantly decided to add one clumping bamboo to my collection of seedlings I started growing the same year.

5l Fargesia murielae
5l Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’
Basic information:
Height: 2.5 to 3 m
Culm diameter: 1.5 cm
Hardiness: -16 to -25 °C
Characteristics: very cold hardy, clumping bamboo

5l pot contained one of the smallest plants they’ve had. Most of them had many tall broken shoots, so I grabbed the smallest bamboo with shoots that were still relatively young, compared to all the rest they’ve had. I knew it will soon make up the difference, with more undamaged shoots, the chances were even better.
I planted it into hard clay soil, with a lot of peat moss added to attract earthworms. Bamboo is placed in sheltered location with morning to mid-afternoon sun. It gets additional protection from tall forsythia that grows right next to it. Since fargesias are sensitive to hot weather, shaded soil where they grow is necessary, before they create thick canopy for themselves.
 
 

Planted fargesia murielae started it's second shooting in early summer.
Planted Rufa started its second shooting in early summer.
Numerous shoots appearing  around the clump each spring.
Numerous shoots appearing around the clump each spring.

Young shoot starting to take off!
Young shoot starting to take off!

Young shoots appear in early March while other bamboos usually still rest peacefully, waiting for warm spring to finally arrive. Shoots are covered with brown hair. Culm sheaths are purple to brown and fall off as soon as the first branches start to emerge. Fully leafed culms start to droop when initially small number of branches and leaves start increasing. Rain and especially snow can make the plant touch the ground completely. Culms can easily bend without breaking, so there’s only little danger for them to snap during winter. This bamboo is cold hardy to almost -30°C, which means, it can survive even without thick layer of snow insulation. During extremely cold and windy winter of 2011/2012, bamboo remained almost completely undamaged.

 

It doesnt take much to flatten Fargesia.
It doesn’t take much to flatten F. murielae.
Fargesia murielae in the spring of 2013
Fargesia murielae in the spring of 2013
A bunch of shoots in the morning sun
A bunch of shoots in the morning sun

Fargesia dracocephala 'Rufa' in June 2013. New shoots just starting to leaf out.
Fargesia dracocephala ‘Rufa’ in June 2013. New shoots just starting to leaf out.
Hairy F. Rufa shoots starting to emerge.
Hairy F. Rufa shoots starting to emerge.
Countless shoots emerged all around the clump. Even tamed Fargesia can decide to spread around.
Countless shoots emerged all around the clump. Even tamed Fargesia can decide to spread around.
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