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Phyllostachys nigra (Black Bamboo)

Indigenous to East and Central China, this clump forming bamboo has rich green foliage on arching canes which start out green in the first year and change to a mottled brown and finally black in the second or third year. It requires moist well drained soil and will tolerate full sun or partial shade. The canes can reach up to twenty feet in height, although they are usually described in catalogues as growing to between five and ten feet. Being clump forming, it is not invasive like some other bamboo and will usually reach a spread of between six and ten feet. Being evergreen the foliage and canes provide year round interest. In addition the plant provides invaluable and beautiful screening in a garden with the added bonus of a gentle rustling noise when moved by a breeze. The plant also looks particularly good when touched with frost in winter as the photo shows.

Copyright A Walsh 2002-2007