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Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling’s autumn transformation

Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling’s autumn transformation

Winter is coming

Leaves become much darker in the fall
Leaves become much darker in the fall. On the photo: Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling 2.

Tonight, we’ve seen snowflakes in the air for the first time this autumn. Before the arrival of winter and bitter below freezing temperatures, bamboos prepare and become hardier which makes them more likely to get through the winter unharmed. With first cold, all Phyllostachys bamboos started shedding some of their leaves to decrease water loss due to transpiration in cooler weather. Leaves also become thicker and coated with waxy protective layer, which also prevents desiccation.  The variegated seedlings had a lot of issues early in the growing season, but came out in excellent shape. They lost most of the damaged leaves from early summer and spring and ended up with new, mostly undamaged leaves. Sadly, some kind of fly destroyed most of the growing tips.

color change

Darkening of the foliage is evident.
Darkening of the foliage is evident.

Like expected, based on previous observations, leaves started changing their color in mid summer. First leaves were all completely yellow. Every following leaf got a bit more dark green color in the form of dark green striping. The last leaves that grew just before winter weather kicked in, started to look almost as green as the regular unvariegated seedling form. New leaves are also much less prone to environmental damage and should survive the winter intact. The gradual darkening also appears on the variegated seedlings culms. It seems that usually green variegation forms on sulcus, but can appear on other sides of the internode as well.

Difference between the two seedlings

Very bright yellow culm of the first variegated seedling. It does have some green striping which should become much more evident next season with an upsize

The most apparent difference is the culm color. I wrote about it some time ago and observations only became more evident as the shoots started maturing. The first seedling changed from lime green to bright yellow. There is almost no red tanning, but I expect it to start again in early spring and around shooting.  I’m not certain about the amount of culm variegation yet, since both the seedlings are still in young juvenile form. Based on last year’s progress, I expect them to upsize significantly. It should be interesting to see them develop.

Leaves are very similar on both seedlings and have the same type of progressive darkening. First leaves are all lime green or yellow and gradually start darkening. There seems to be a difference in how dark the leaves finally get, but it might be too early to tell for sure. It seems that the first seedling doesn’t get as green as the second one. It was also a little bit less prone to sun damage, which is quite strange, because it’s leaves were just as pale if not paler.

Second seedling often shows darker green coloration below the nodes
Second seedling often shows darker green coloration below it’s nodes

Second seedling has started with bright green culms and dark green striping. Sun tanning was extremely strong during early spring and it turned almost black on sun exposed shoots. With time it started fading to brown color with a hint of red. The lower parts that were not exposed to sun, changed from bright green to olive green color. Variegation of the culm appears on all sides of the culm, but is usually found as darker green sulcus. A lot of internodes have a dark green coloration below the node, some can extend further down as green striping. It is not as evident as green variegations of yellow culmed bamboos like Phyllostachys aureosulcata, at least not yet. Culm color might change a bit as the culms fully mature. Time will tell how they look like when they get there.

Darker green sulcus on yellow-ish olive green culm.
Darker green sulcus on olive green culm.
Variegated seedling in front and regular dark green form of Phyllostachys arcana 'Luteosulcata' seedlings
Variegated seedling in front and regular dark green form of Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedlings
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Variegated Phylostachys arcana seedlings – Summer 2018 update

Variegated Phylostachys arcana seedlings – Summer 2018 update

Second seedling looks extremely well at this point, and the best part of the year is still in front of it
Second seedling looks extremely well at this point, and the best part of the year is still in front of it

Sunburn recovery

As I’ve mentioned recently, two heavily variegated seedlings are prone to sunburn damage. To correct the issue, I decided to plant some fast growing plants in front of one of the seedlings. As bamboo started branching out, the canopy started shading itself, which further helped the seedlings. Both seedlings started looking much better when days started getting shorter in late July. After wet and rainy start of the summer – well, not that spring would be any better, temperatures rose well above 30°C. Both bamboos resisted the heat and wind pretty well. Way better than strong sun exposure in late spring and early summer. There was some leaf curling, but not nearly as much as I’d expect. Actually, they didn’t curl as much as a non-variegated seedling next to them.

Culms coloring up

Regular green seedlings have dark green colored culms that turn dark brown if exposed to intense light. Variegated seedlings have much less green and can be almost completely yellow with some green striping. Culm variegation occurred on both seedlings. Most of the culms that were at least a bit exposed to sun started tanning up and turned out quite nice. The seedling with darker culms had more green variegation and turned light brown. The first seedling has much paler culms that are almost completely yellow. There are some stripes involved, but they are hard to spot at the moment – the shoots were way smaller and the variegation much paler.

Pale culm of the first variegated seedling
Pale culm of the first variegated seedling

Red coloration on yellow culms.
Red coloration on yellow culms.
Culm coloration with sun tanning
Culm coloration with sun tanning
Brown tanned culm of the second seedling
Brown tanned culm of the second seedling

Rhizomes

I haven’t been digging dirt around the seedlings, but there is some serious rhizome activity below the soil level. I have seen them pushing the soil up and dolphining. Soil is also cracking due to underground bamboo growth. None of the highly variegated seedlings started shooting for the second time in the season (August 1st). The third seedling that is also variegated, but has dark green appearance, compared to yellow colored first two seedlings, started putting out second round of shoots when the rhizomes got above the soil level. All of them were nicely variegated.

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Possible culm coloration on variegated Phyllostachys arcana seedling

Possible culm coloration on variegated Phyllostachys arcana seedling

Pale green colored culms of first variegated seedling.
Pale green colored culms of first variegated seedling.

Three year old seedlings of Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ finally got culms that are up to pencil diameter. Until now, it was impossible to see any culm coloration, except for the rough estimation of culm color. First shoots finally started to show the exposed culms above their culm sheaths and it seems that one of the seedlings got culm variegation that is similar to that expressed on its leaves.

I already wrote about how different the culm color of the seedlings is, so this is an update on that topic.
I also wrote a lot about the leaf variegation, growing these seedlings from seeds and similar. If interested, you can look it up using search option.

Culm color expectations based on last year

Dark green stripes on the exposed culm
Dark green stripes on the exposed culm

After slow start with many setbacks, seedlings started extremely well this spring and took off. I expected culms of three variegated seedlings to have different shades of green, but I never expected culm variegation. The first seedling shows the most leaf variegation and has lime green, almost yellow culm color that eventually fades to light yellow with orange hue. It easily gets sunburn and the color of sun exposed culms is light red. Second most variegated seedling with a bit darker green culms sunburns to dark red color. Third seedling did not manage to push out any shoots this year. Deer devoured it completely last fall and it only managed to push out survival shoots and branches. It has culms that are even darker green than the second seedling, but still less dark than regular non-variegated seedlings.

A bit about sunburn

Sunburn on Seedling #2
Sunburn on Seedling #2

Every seedling of Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ got sunburn when exposed to bright light in a sunny location. Even culms that were not directly exposed to the sun darkened-up.  Seedlings got purple color, which combined with regular green culm color and appeared dark brown. Variegated seedlings with less chlorophyll  turned bright red with more or less dark tone, depending on the seedling.  It will be interesting to see, how long the color of sunburn remains apparent on the colored culms. Non-variegated seedlings got light brown in their second year as the green started to fade into yellow. Variegated parts will most likely have darker sunburn but I don’t think it will easily visible feature because sun tanned color is too dark and intensive. I guess we will see more about it next year.

Dark green stripes on light green culm. Heavily sun tanned on sun exposed internode below.
Dark green stripes on light green culm. Heavily sun tanned on sun exposed internode below.

Culm variegation on seedling #2

Sheaths are falling off. soon we'll see the results.
Sheaths are falling off. soon we’ll see the results.

Second seedling had shown no culm variegation last year, because all the schoots were toothpick diameter or smaller. I pampered variegated seedlings way too long, keeping them inside during the winter – big mistake. This year, when they had a chance to go through winter dormancy, they started growing like a Phyllostachys should grow! When I first saw almost undetectable striping on the freshly exposed culms, I thought it was lack of wax or shade. In the following days it became more and more apparent and it darkened with passing days – same thing happens with leaf variegation. Culms are still pretty small, so it might take a few years before I can get a feeling about how the mature culms will look like, but we’re getting there! It will be interesting to see how the effect of sunburn on the culm striping.

Fresh leaves emerging at last. See how the last leaf is lighter colored than the previous one?
Fresh leaves emerging at last. See how the last leaf is lighter colored than the previous one?

Leaf variegation

Bye-bye old damaged leaves, new leaves are emerging!
Bye-bye old damaged leaves, new leaves are emerging!

Many of you already know about the leaf variegation of all three seedlings I’ve grown from seeds. They start as very pale lime green or even yellow leaf which eventually starts showing darker stripes and it turns darker green. The ‘transformation’ happens in about a week or two. After that, leaf starts maturing and it gets darker green but the variegation remains. Some of the leaves are completely pale and appear yellow even after a few weeks. Usually leaves like that get damaged easily (I suspect bright sun related burn) and partly or completely dry up. Usually these are the first leaves that appear on new shoots, so they end up falling down anyway. As the branches or shoots age, there are usually more and more darker green leaves. I have to admit, I want to know how it would look like on a mature grove during the shooting, soon after and right before winter. It may change color a little bit during the seasons. Hopefully we will see.

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Culm color of variegated Luteosulcata seedling (1)

Culm color of variegated Luteosulcata seedling (1)

Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ & yellow sulcus

The seedling has suffered a lot and is still in early stage of growth
The seedling has suffered a lot and is still in early stage of growth

There was a debate recently on bambooweb forum regarding seeds sold as ‘Yellow groove’ seeds. It’s known that Phyllostachys aureosulcata (and other bamboos from that gang) flower from time to time, without resulting viable seed. Since it’s also not in gregarious flowering, there’s no way someone could get viable seeds of Yellow groove bamboo. However, there is a bamboo with similar characteristics (including zigzag and yellow striped sulcus) that is flowering recently and has given a lot of seeds already – Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’. Despite the fact that there are many growers, trying to get a Bamboo seedling with yellow sulcus, no such plant had been found so far.

The seedling that does show a bit different culm color

3 months old culm with older culms in the background
3 months old culm with older culms in the background

My first variegated Phyllostachys arcana ‘Luteosulcata’ seedling has a very pale leaf variegation. It doesn’t only have pale leaves, culms are also lacking green pigmentation. In early stages of seedling’s growth, I could see that culm color was different than any other seedling I’ve grown, including other variegated seedlings. As soon as young shoots loose their sheaths, the culm inside looks almost completely white to very light green. Within days, light exposure makes the shoot turn more and more red. It can turn into unbelievable red color, unlike I’ve seen on any other bamboo. It later fades out into yellow. Seedling is still in a very young phase (it actually lost some weight due to chain of wrong decisions I’ve made :)) which means it can change considerably as it matures. It may end up looking much greener further down the road. We will see …

Lower nodes on 1 year old culm
Lower nodes on 1 year old culm
Upper nodes on 1 year old culm
Upper nodes on 1 year old culm

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Culms of other Luteosulcata seedlings?

The seedlings I am growing have shown no culm stripings so far. They are young and will perhaps show some kind of culm variegation later, but there are slim chances. So far, there are no reports about a new generation seedling with culm variegation. My other seedlings do show some difference regarding strength of light induced color, though. All have dark green culms with red coloration that colors the sun exposed culms purple/brown. The second variegated seedling also has a bit less intense green culms, that do not turn red, instead, they look quite similar to majority of other seedlings – less intense purple green.

Second variegated seedling is greener
Second variegated seedling is greener
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