Clumping or runner

cslweissApril 28, 2008

I am worried that this guy we hired to do some landscaping planted the WRONG type of bamboo. It is a small area by our pool so it must be CLUMPING or I am in big trouble. How can I tell? The stalks are yellow, with dark green lines running lengthwise. If you need photos -- how would I do that- cut and paste? Thanks so much for your help. I also have no idea how much to water -- live in Los Angeles - and 2 of the 3 get a lot of sun.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Why do you think he planted the wrong kind of bamboo? And you need a better description. For example, does a culm have only one green line, or more? How many branches from each node? There are a number of bamboo, clumping and running, that fit the bare description you gave.

If you want to post pictures, you need to have them stored online, like at You can provide one link per post simply by plugging the URL for the photo into the "Optional Link URL" beneath the box where you post messages. Or you can use HTML to include several pictures and have them display directly. Unfortunately, you can not simply cut and paste.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 5:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Each stalk has more than one dark green line on the yellow stalks. I am not exactly sure what constitutes a node, but it looks like there are around 5 sticks coming out of each area. If that helps at all -- What other info can I provide? (A landscape designer who came by was the person who questioned if the bamboo was clumping)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 8:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Nodes are the rings spaced at regular intervals along the culm, and are where the skinny branches emanate from. If you have more than one green stripe in a segment and more than two branches coming from a node, you likely have either Bambusa vulgaris 'Vittata' or Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr.' Both of these are clumpers. Go to the link below and find these bamboo in the scroll box of scientific names towards the bottom of the page. Click on the name and it will take you to pictures of that bamboo. Then re-post here and let me know if I'm right or if we need to chase this further.

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 10:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Two more possible varieties that are yellow culmed with varying multiple green stripes are: B. eutuldoides 'Viridivittata' and B. pervariabilis 'Viridistriatus.'


    Bookmark   April 28, 2008 at 11:03PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

Agreed...but you're getting pretty exotic there! In any case, if it's one of those four, he's still safe as those are all clumpers.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 1:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You have all been so kind - I am very appreciative. It is hard to get a good view of the leaves in the picture, but I am leaning towards it being Babusa bulbgaris Vittata. If I am wrong and it could be a runner, the roots could create serious issues -- If I break off a piece, would a nursery be able to identify it for me?
Thanks again so much for your help.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2008 at 7:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

You generally don't identify most bamboo from the leaves as much as the characteristics of the culms. From what you've described, it's hard for me to imagine it's anything but a clumper. Unless you go to a bamboo specialty nursery with a piece of the culm, you're not going to get reliable advice: most regular nurseries just don't know enough to accurately identify bamboo.

I also have several questions for you:

-Do you have any particular reason to think it's a runner, or are you just nervous?
-Have you talked to the guy who installed it about the species name?
-Is the pool an in-ground concrete pool? (If so, you are not going to have any problems with even a runner doing damage to the pool, despite whatever urban myths you have heard about bamboo. If it's a pond with a rubber liner, then a runner could go underneath and puncture it, but bamboo does not have superpowers to attack and damage sound concrete, or to invade closed, underground piping sytems.)
-Can you post a picture of the bamboo?

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 1:03AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, a picture would be great.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 2:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Yes, a picture would be great.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2008 at 4:26PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Phyllostachys bamboo species? Bamboo experts?
This bamboo is growing in Northern VA, zone 7a. I assume...
Dave in NoVA • 7a • Northern VA
How fast do moso bamboo seeds grow?
Hello! I bought moso bamboo seeds in January. Planted...
Help me choose bamboo for dry summer
Hello! I would like to grow a grove of bamboo that...
growth speed and how to grow moso and giant bamboo?
Hi everyone! I just orderd some Moso bamboo seeds(EDULIS/PUBESCENCE)...
Best Zone 8 timber bamboo
Hi guys, I live on a few acres in South Mississippi,...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™