Friday, August 21, 2009

Ted Jordan Meredith's Pocket Guide to Bamboo Plants is out, yeah!

I got a tip from a good friend in the bamboo nursery business a couple of months ago about Ted Jordan Meredith's Pocket Guide to Bamboos with is published by Timber Press. Its a pocket guide with over 300 species of bamboo in it, word is that it is full of color photos that look at all aspects of the plant, from culm colors to leaves to shoot coloration. With bamboo plants the differences are often very subtle, for those who love bamboo this holds to be a very helpful guide in discerning one bamboo species from another.

I am planning on purchasing a few copies to sell at plant sales I attend, for customers that visit my nursery and online.
If all the talk is true, this has promise to be a very valuable guide from a very credible bamboo expert that will be used for all that love bamboo, from the beginner bamboo lover to the most seasoned bambusero.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

History and plants: The story behind "Alphonse Karr" bamboo

Its funny to think about how plants are named an who named them. I'm always amazed by a clumping bamboo, Bambusa multiplex "Alphonse Karr", a rather common bamboo that you can find at most nurseries. But in this case "Alphonse Karr" happens to be a rather spectacular plant - it grows really well in the Sacramento region, is perfect for an upright privacy screen and has beautiful ornamental features. Yellow, with green stripes and shades of vibrant red, this plant is more than common, its almost like looking at art, very striking.

I appreciate history and was quite happy to find the background on the name behind this spectacular bamboo plant in the December 2008 edition of Bamboo Magazine. Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a 19th Century French writer, satirist and newspaper man, born in 1808 found a love for plants when he moved to Nice, France in 1855. Known in the literary world for writing 12 novels and sering as the editor of the French weekly satirical, Le Figaro.

He later became known for his founding of the cut flower trade along the French Riviera and no one quite knows the tie to the famous bamboo, but either someone ion the 19th Century plant world named it after him for his love of plants (or a fan of his writings) or perhaps observed traits of a bamboo plant owned by Mr. Karr.

Something not given much thought usually, but fascinating nonetheless. Every plant has a story.



Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bamboo and Tabasco sauce

Being a member of the American Bamboo Society, I get a copy of Bamboo Magazine, which I really enjoy. The June 2009 edition had an article on Avery Island, Louisiana, the home of E.A. McIlhenny's world famous Tabasco sauce. On the island is Jungle Gardens a 250 acre preserve that features exotic plants including large bamboo groves, one is a Moso grove planted by McIlhenny himself in 1910. If you have never seen Phylostachys edulis "Moso", it maxes out at 75 feet tall with 7 inch diameter culms, one of the largest in the world. And, the culms have a light fur on them, really nice texture.

I'll have to put Avery Island on my "must-visit" list for sure.

More info can be found here.