Friday, November 25, 2011

All the same plant? Bamboo diversity.

I'm struck by the diversity of the plant world.  All shapes, sizes, colors - its what really gets gardeners or 'plant geeks' like me all 'a-flutter'.  This diversity is what got me into collecting bamboo plants. According to the American Bamboo Society, there are about 2,000 identified bamboo varieties.  My personal bamboo collection numbers around 200.  So, there are plenty of bamboo varieties that someone like me seeks out and appreciates.

So, today, I was struck by the diversity within even one bamboo variety that is my favorite, by far - Himalayacalamus hookerianus 'Teague's Blue.'  A typical 'Blue Bamboo' is beautiful in its own right - sporting bright blue waxy culms.  'Teague's Blue' goes well beyond that...

Here is 'Teague's Blue' in its bluest form.  This was taken several months ago.

Here, an older culm shows shades of yellow, green and pink.  I took this photo today.

Here is a culm that I cut  a couple of years ago that has bright red and purple. Hard to believe that this color diversity comes from from one plant - 'Teague's Blue' Bamboo. The colors are influenced by sunlight exposure, age and temperature.  It's one of those bamboo varieties that always seems to provide a welcome surprise for a 'Bamboo Geek' like me.


Mad Man Bamboo - Rocklin, CA
(916) 300-6335
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