Phy. Nigra 'one from another'

hank11(8 Northern Ca.)October 1, 2009

It has gotten to be really confusing as to which Phy. Nigra black is which. there are so many different (common) names, Ebony, Hale,Black Jade, Kuro Chiku, Dikokuchiku, and just plain old Black Bamboo. It seems like a lot of bamboo nurserys are trying to give their own name to the same bamboo they got from another nursery. What I'm trying to figure out is which one gets the blackest the Quickest, the biggest, the hardiest, and all those questions, and are there that many varieties. I have been told that "Black" Bamboo does best in shade, part shade, and full sun,cool temps, hot temps and that a sacrificial chicken might even help. Any advice is greatly appreciated. I have a nervous chicken on hold.

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kudzu9(Zone 8a - PNW)

There are about 11-12 different Ph. nigras that are commonly available in the U.S. Not all of them get black (like Henon (gray-green), or Boryana (mottled), or Shimadake (brown-striped)), and, of those that get completely black, the differences in size and color are somewhat debatable. Most nigras do best in full sun, as long as it's not blazing all day, but they also do well in a variety of shade conditions. Names like "Black Jade" and "Ebony" are sales gimmicks, but other names, like 'Hale' legitimately differentiate a slightly different cultivar. If you want traditional Black bamboo, get it from a real bamboo dealer, or at least a seller that doesn't use cute names. Soil, water, light and fertilizing will make the biggest difference in your result. Below is a link where you can see photos of the various Ph. nigras, and read about differences. Just go to the dropdown box and look alphabetically.

Here is a link that might be useful: BambooWeb

    Bookmark   October 2, 2009 at 1:15PM
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hank11(8 Northern Ca.)

Thanks kudzu, I need to remember to use the BambooWeb link more often it would save me some time and frustration. I have "Black" from several different sources. I'll try to pin some of them down as to the specific cultivar.But I don't want to sell or trade any of them until I know for sure

    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:50PM
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Be easy on the chicken. Remember that environmental differences can cause differences in growth of bamboo also.

Full sun here in Texas affects bamboo differently than full sun in the Pacific Northwest, and a dry hot vs a humid hot makes bamboo act differently, etc.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2009 at 10:57PM
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hank11(8 Northern Ca.)

Thanks Kentuck, You are so right. I have 2 Phy. Nigra's purchased at the same time from Bamboo Gardens. One is in a wine barrel in the hot Sacramento valley. It is growing fast but slow to darken. The "sister" plant is in a wine barrel at my son's house on the cool coast. Growing slowly but darkens almost immediately.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 9:25AM
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Hank, I feel your pain... I had been going through all the same issues. I finally decided on Dikokuchiku, or "Folsom Black". Apparently there is even discussion that it may just be regular black bamboo, growing in a great location, so it appears larger then the normal black bamboo, but may not grow as big elsewhere. In any event, I'm in nearly the same area/zone as Folsom, and I understand that the Folsom grove is in full sun. However, much of what I read about black is that it wants some shade. The more I read, the more opinions I find. uggghhh...

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 2:34PM
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hank11(8 Northern Ca.)

Yup, the more I learn the less I know

    Bookmark   October 7, 2009 at 11:19PM
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