graceful weaver's bamboo and Timor black bamboo

Graceful weaver's bamboo Here are two new bamboo plants we just received last week from Tropical Bamboo in Florida. The first one is a graceful weaver's bamboo, Bambusa textilis var. gracilis, and the second one, below, is Timor black bamboo, Bambusa lako.

I was most excited about getting the Timor black bamboo. When mature, it will have glossy black culms. The little one-year culms are already dark. The graceful weaver's bamboo, now that I see it, is even more enchanting. It is so graceful and lovely already!

I had been longing for more bamboo, since our one giant timber bamboo turned out so wonderful (as seen elsewhere on this blog), but our back yard was too shady. I loved the trees that shaded the yard. Soon after our new neighbors had rather too many of their trees cut down, we realized that it was an opportunity. Both of these two new bamboos are clumpers, not runners, so there's no danger of their trying to take over our yard and the next door neighbor's yard as well. I am in love with clumping bamboos. I might like a runner of a rather open habit, if it had culms spaced far enough apart for easy walking between them, if I had a spare acre or two, but there's no place for a large bamboo grove in a small back yard.

Timor black bamboo We purchased both of these plants in the small pots known in the nursery industry as "three gallon" pots. They arrived on a Saturday in a box that seemed a little crumpled by the mail service, but both plants were unfazed by the experience of shipping and have settled right in.

The Timor black bamboo is a little gangly and awkward in appearance when compared to its sister the graceful weaver's bamboo. Mature examples looks lovely in pictures. I appreciate the fact that its black culms are glossy, an effect which seems much more attractive to me than the dull black culms of the tropical black bamboo (Gigantochloa altoviolaceae) at Mercer Arboretum. Unfortunately, I've seen it only in pictures so far.

Wayside gardens used to sell an expensive black bamboo in their catalog, probably Phyllostachys nigra. That's probabloy where I caught the desire to plant black-culmed bamboo. I assume that one was a runner, as the Phyllostachys are. since the Wayside Gardens catalog, like our local nurseries, doesn't seem to make a distinction between runners and clumpers. I think that running bamboos should be sold with warning labels that include information about how to effectively use root barriers to contain their awesome spread. It's irresponsible for nurseries to sell running bamboo without making a point of this information. Properly contained, running bamboos can be fine, but it can be a terrible thing when someone plants a running bamboo in an urban or suburban yard without any containment.

Below is a picture of a graceful weaver's bamboo at Mercer Arboretum, which I photographed in May 2008. They have quite a few examples of this lovely bamboo. It's not very large, about half the size of the giant timber bamboo.

There are many beautiful bamboos in the world, but my favorites all belong to the genus Bambusa.

Posted: Sun - July 13, 2008 at 09:42 PM