Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’
May 16, 2014
|Height: 10 m|
Culm diameter: 5 cm
Hardiness: -24 °C
Characteristics: very cold hardy, vigorous, running bamboo,
culms are bright yellow with green sulcus
young culms turn red when exposed to sun
they frequently genuflect, making zig-zag pattern at the base of the culm
some of the leaves have white stripe
It’s one of most cold-hardy bamboos that grows to decent size and can be extremely vigorous, especially in warmer climates.
When I bought a one culm division with almost no roots and without rhizome buds that would look alive, I doubted it would start growing. It took quite some time for it to push out two tiny survival shoots. At that point, I knew it’s not just a living bamboo stick and I’ll end up with a living, spreading Spectabilis.
Since then, it not only recovered, but managed to surpass any expectations every spring. Each spring new shoots appear larger and taller, except the after the last season that was abnormally wet. Spring after exceptionally wet year brought only minimal diameter upsize, but the number of shoots was incredible and the shoots managed to rise up taller than year before. Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’ shoots in mid to late April and usually doesn’t regrow it’s winter damaged leaves until it’s almost done shooting. By pruning lower branches, it gets much more upright appearance, not to mention the look of exposed colorful culms. If it decides to put out additional survival shoots, it’s best to cut them off, before they can use any resources to grow.
It can be hard to keep the beast confined. During the summer, fall and sometimes even in early winter, bamboos invest all their energy into rhizome growth. Rhizomes can search for better growth conditions, so they usually travel towards east, south or west, and will colonize well mulched and fertilized soil rather than migrate into hard clay or sand. By knowing how it spreads, it gets easier to maintain, spot and remove the escaping runners.