Translate this page
Locally harvested four foot timber bamboo can be used to construct arbors and trellises.
Locally harvested four foot timber bamboo can be used to construct arbors and trellises.
A mature stand of black bamboo grows in Fallbrook.
A mature stand of black bamboo grows in Fallbrook.
The variegated “vittata” bamboo grows to about 30 feet and is very ornamental.

Roger’s Pick: The Bamboos of the World

Thursday, February 28th, 2013
Issue 09, Volume 17.
Roger Boddaert
Special to the Village News
You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.

Since the dawn of civilization, man has cultivated and harvested bamboos and used them in many forms. Certain species of bamboo can grow very well here in Fallbrook.

Bamboo is in the grass family and has hundreds of species and cultivars, be it in the clumping or the running category, so choose wisely and plan your selection before planting.

Bamboo has a vast range of variables; from the short ground covers to towering timber giants of 100 feet or more, in time. They combine very nicely with other exotics like palms, flaxes, and a wide spectrum of ornamental grasses. As a landscape designer, I like to use bamboo to set a particular theme or to cover up an eye-score or an unwanted view.

Assorted bamboo species are grown at the Wild Animal Park in San Pasqual valley. These bamboos are grown, cultured, cut, cleaned and transported to the San Diego Zoo for the panda colony, which can eat up to 30 pounds of bamboo per day and that’s a lot of bamboo.

Bamboos enjoy good soil drainage and can be in their glory out in full sun to dappled light and beneath the understory of other trees with the right species. Once a bamboo is established many species can be fairly drought tolerant and can make a spectacular statement in the proper landscape setting.

The bamboo has fibrous strands in its canes and is used in home construction as decorative adornments, bamboo flooring, musical instruments and they are excellent for trellis and screens out in the garden. Bamboo shoots are also a culinary novelty eaten with various veggies and are great in a stir fry, so look for them in your local market.

Some of my favorite bamboos are the clumping types such as:

Bambusa "Alphonse Karr" which grows to about 25’ + and the stems are brilliantly striped green on yellow canes.

Bambusa olhamii is a timber bamboo which forms a thick clump 20-40 feet with dense foliage and is good for screening, and the most common timber bamboo in Southern California.

Bambusa tuldoides, known as punting pole bamboo is a very prolific producer of slender erect stems from 20 feet +. I like using it as a focal point out in the garden.

Bambusa ventricosa or "Buddha’s belly" bamboo forms swollen nodes in time, hence its name, and grows 15’ to 20’.

Some bamboo runners are:

Chimonobambusa quadrangularis is valued for its unique square shape and vertical effect. It’s a runner to about 20 + and hardy to about 15 degrees F.

Phyllostachys bambusoides or Japanese timber bamboo is also a runner but will develop 6" diameter canes in time and looks best when some of the lower side shoots off of the main cane are trimmed. It’s one of my large bamboo favorites in the garden where a grandeur statement is wanted.

Phyllostachys nigra, a black bamboo, is a runner, so give it room. The first year the canes come up green but the second year they mature into pitch-black canes and the contrast from one year to another is a real show-stopper. I have several clumps in my botanical garden and when the canes dry, I use them out in the garden as upright plant-stakes, so they get a second life.

Pleloblastus species is a wide selection of dwarfs, some with variegated foliage, used in erosion control in some instances, but use them carefully for they can become invasive.

Roger Boddaert, Maker of Natural Gardens, can be contacted at (760) 728-4297.



Comment Profile ImageBambooer in Fallbrook
Comment #1 | Friday, Mar 1, 2013 at 1:10 pm
Thanks for highlighting this useful and beautiful plant. Actually many varieties can grow right here in Fallbrook. I like the short (about 6-8' tall when mature) runner, Chimonobambusa marmorea, for a semi-shaded beautiful hedge. It has maroon canes. You can install a barrier material to corral the invasive kinds. I got barrier (and plants) at Bamboo headquarters in Vista.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fallbrook Village News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


Add your Comment


Images, Formatting, or HTML is not allowed : plain text only. You may post up to 5 website addresses within your comment.


The Fallbrook Village News has tightened its' policy regarding comments.
While we invite you to contribute your opinions and thoughts, we request that you refrain from using vulgar or obscene words and post only comments that directly pertain to the specific topic of the story or article.
Comments that are derogatory in nature have a high likelihood for editing or non-approval if they carry the possibility of being libelous.
The comment system is not intended as a forum for individuals or groups to air personal grievances against other individuals or groups.
Please, no advertising or trolling.
In posting a comment for consideration, users understand that their posts may be edited as necessary to meet system parameters, or the post may not be approved at all. By submitting a comment, you agree to all the rules and guidelines described here.
Most comments are approved or disregarded within one business day.

RSS FeedFacebookTwitter

Advertisement for Stellar Solar


Most Commented

Reach Local Customers

The Fallbrook Village News The Fallbrook Village News
760-723-7319 - 1588 S. Mission Rd. Suite 200, Fallbrook CA 92028
All contents copyright ©2015
About Us
Earthquake Information
Business Listings
Contact Us
Letter to the Editor
Report a website error
Online Digital Edition
RSS Feeds