Saturday, January 1, 2011

Colorful bamboo plants

When most people think of bamboo, its usually an image of a tall green screen. What really got me into collecting bamboo about 10 or so years ago was its wide range of colors, each very unique in its own way. Your typical green bamboo is no doubt beautiful in its own way, but here is a gallery of some of my favorite colorful bamboo plants that will knock your socks off:

This is a cut culm of Himalayacalamus hookerianus 'Teague's Blue', named after the late Bill Teague, this colorful beauty is a clumping bamboo that needs afternoon shade in our Sacramento climate.

This is another photo of 'Teague's Blue' Bamboo.

This is Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr', a clumping bamboo that takes full sun and does very well in our Sacramento climate. This variety is ideal as a privacy hedge, but retains some ornamental beauty.

This is a running bamboo called Semiarundaria yashadake 'Kimmei'. This variety takes full sun and takes on a deep red-purple coloring when exposed to the sun. This variety does well as a container-grown bamboo. This is a photo I took this past week.

Himalayacalamus falconeri 'Damarapi' 'Candystripe Bamboo' is a afternoon-shade clumping bamboo that is a great ornamental. The colors shown here ironically are their brightest around the holidays.

This Borinda fungosa, a clumping bamboo that needs shade from our hot Sacramento afternoons. In the right place, this variety can serve as a privacy hedge as it is very dense. I've seen this variety informally referred to as 'Chocolate Bamboo.'

Last, but certainly not least, is Phylostachys nigra punctata 'Giant Black Bamboo.' Not colorful as in vibrant, but black is a color after all and this variety is very unique and very popular. This photo was taken by my friend and Bambutopia blogger, Gerhard Bock, of a plant in my collection. Used with permission.

If you ask most bamboo collectors or even the average gardener seeking to spice up their yard, bamboo offers a tremendous variety of texture, color and size opportunities. For me, the color is what got me hooked and many other people I know. Enjoy and don't get bit by the 'bamboo bug!'

Mad Man Bamboo
(916) 300-6335
Twitter - @madmanbamboo


Michael Brown said...

Do you have any of the Teague's Blue and if so what size gallon and what is the cost?

Eliza @ Appalachian Feet said...

These are gorgeous! I think the 'Teague's Blue' in the first photo is my favorite, but I like the bright pink one, too. I thought photos like these were painted, but apparently not!

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery said...

Michael - They are $42 for 5 gallon plants. If interested, send me an e-mail at Thanks.

Eliza - Not painted at all, these are 100% natural coloring, pretty amazing, almost unreal. Glad you like the 'Teague's Blue.'

Thanks to you both!



Deborah said...

I love the Teague's Blue! really wanted that one. We got a Bambusa Textilis instead. It supposedly should have blue-green canes, but it is mainly yellow. It was just planted 1.5 months ago. Is there anything we can do to help it get greener/bluer? Is it affected by amt. of sun? Do certain nutrients help the coloring? Thanks.

Mad Man Bamboo Nursery said...

Hi Deborah, Likely those are older culms that have been bleached by the sun. You will get the blue-green coloring with the new culms. All bamboo culms turn yellow and fade with time. It's just the natural cycle. You can gain greener growth with regular fertilization. Thanks.


Deborah said...

Thanks, Sean!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mad Man...

I live in Roseville, Ca. and am looking to plant some bamboo along my back fenceline, mostly to provide privacy and some shade. The area is mostly sun with maybe some afternoon shade. It would need to be clumping so it doesn't take over the neighnors yard. What would be the best variety? HOw tall do they get? How much water do they need? How fast do they grow? Thanks! Diane

Sean said...

Hi Diane,

Thanks for your comment. I'd recommend: Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr' or 'Hedge Bamboo' - 15 to 20 feet or Bambusa oldhamii 'Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo' - 30 feet. They need moderate water, not dry not soggy, just like most plants. If interested, I have these in stock. Let me know. Thanks.