Short Running Bamboo
Dwarf bamboos are understory plants and prefer to be shaded from hot afternoon sun. Some prefer mostly shade, while others may take some morning sun if not placed against hot walls or other excessively sunny conditions. These are some of Laurie's favorites and have a wide landscape use. They provide interest in the garden with attractive foliage, leaves which make a nice rustling noise in a breeze, and easy care.
Indocalamus latifolius-"Glossy Leaf Bamboo". Grown for its foot long glossy green leaves. Average height is about 6' although it may reach 10' in perfect conditions. Hardy to -5 degrees. Prefers shade, partial shade, or morning sun with afternoon shade.
Indocalamus longiauritus-"Long Leaf Bamboo" Long glossy green leaves, although not as long as several onther Indocalamus bamboos. The common name derives from the species name which is a description of the "auricles". About 5' in height. Grows in partial shade to some afternoon sun.
Indocalamus sp. 'Solida' -long, glossy green leaves. May reach 8', although average height is shorter. Prefers shade, partial shade, or morning sun with afternoon shade.
Indocalamus tesselatus -"Big Leaf Bamboo" Large glossy leaves are the largest of any bamboo. Average height is tends to be 3-4' but can get as tall as 10'. Prefers shade, partial shade, or morning sun with afternoon shade. This one isn't as fussy about sunshine as other Indocalamus sp. Very tropical looking but will take cold temperatures down to -15 degrees. Large leaves used in Asia to wrap food when cooking, much like grape leaves. This is one of our current favorite bamboos. Laurie likes the way all of the Indocalamus sp. wave their leaves in the breeze and how the breeze makes a pleasant rustling sound.
Pleioblastus chino murakamianus -a short bamboo to 10' but usually less. Variegated leaves. Partial shade to morning sun with afternoon shade.
Pleioblastus chino vaginatus variegatus -to about 6' or less. Variegated leaves. Partial shade to morning sun with afternoon shade.
Pleioblastus distichus "Dwarf Fern Leaf Bamboo". Ferny leaves make a nice ground cover under a shady tree canopy. Good container plant. About 2' high. Will take some sun but will look best with some shade from the hot afternoon sun.
Pleioblastus fortunei - see Pl. variegata
Pleioblastus humulis -very attractive short bamboo, especially when used as a ground cover. Dark green leaves. Can reach 7' but usually much less than that. One of Laurie's favorites. Very attractive. Prefers partial shade or morning sun with afternoon shade.
Pleioblastus viridistriatus -"Dwarf Green Striped Bamboo". Extremely attractive in spring and early summer when the leaves are golden yellow with green stripes. Can be mowed in winter to encourage new brightly colored leaves in spring. Beautiful in the garden or in a pot, as well as a ground cover. Usually grows to about 3' or less. Prefers partial shade or limited morning sun with afternoon shade. A nursery favorite each spring when the leaves first unfurl-everyone loves the striking springtime-chartreuse colors.
Sasa palmatum -to 7' but usually less and can be used as a ground cover. Thick, attractive leathery green leaves. Best grown in partial shade but may take a limited amount of morning sun with afternoon shade. Grows well in pots or use as a ground cover.
Shibataea kumasaca -to 7' but usually about half that size. Unique bamboo with zig zag nodes. Prefers acid soil. Makes a great short hedge, mounding garden shrub, or container plant. A nursery favorite. Soft look in a shady location. Very attractive. Prefers shade, partial shade, to morning sun with afternoon shade. The foliage on this has a lovely sweet aroma that permeates the air on warm days.