Sunday, March 6, 2011

Bamboo in Washington D.C.

Last week, I was in Washington D.C. for work.  The day I left to travel to Sacramento, I had a few hours before my flight to sight-see.  I totally lucked out on this trip, the lowest temperature I encountered was 16 degrees and it was snow-free, with plenty of sunshine.  Despite the great weather, Washington D.C. was the last place I would have thought of to have much bamboo around.

Despite my low expectations for bamboo sight-seeing, here are some surprises along the way that I found:

I ran into this Exxon gas station where I found bamboo incorporated into the landscape.

Here is my visit to the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) located along the National Mall near the Capitol Building.  What came across my mind when I walked through the doors - 'I have arrived.'   The USBG was part of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's shared dream of having a national botanic garden.  The USBG has been open to the public since 1850.  It maintains over 60,000 plants for exhibition, study, conservation and exchange with other institutions.  Some part of the current collection are from the original 1842 founding collection.

This is Bambusa textilis 'Weaver's Bamboo' inside the USBG. Could never grow outside in Washington D.C., but in the conservatory, no problem.

Is this Black Bamboo? Nope. Its, sugar cane. Poaceae Saccharum, a distant relative of bamboo.

Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata', a clumping bamboo that can take temperatures down to 30 degrees.  Would never grow outside in Washington D.C. (and wouldn't even do well in more moderate Sacramento), but in the USBG, no problem.

A Cacao Tree.

I thought this was a clever use of bamboo poles for decoration inside the USBG.

That night, I took a LONG.......... flight home to Sacramento.  As I dragged by jet-lagged body through the terminal at Sacramento International Airport and into the newly constructed Terminal A parking garage, I caught a glimpse of something that looked like bamboo.  Walking over, it was indeed bamboo! I grabbed my camera and took this shot.  Bambusa oldhamii 'Giant Clumping Timber Bamboo'.  Sheltered from the relatively mild Sacramento winter wind, it was a great looking specimen and a fitting end to my trip to Washington D.C.  As Dorothy said... 'There's no place like home."  Glad to be back!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I not suprised you saw bamboo growing in Washington DC...the stuff is growing like mad on the East Coast from Connecticut south to Florida.

I read bamboo will grow better in the East Coast becasue summers are hotter than on the West Coast. I have seen some 80 Foot bamboo in Richmond, VA and New Jersey.