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Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

Posted by vancleaveterry MS coast 8/9 (My Page) on
Tue, Jan 29, 08 at 8:52

Has anyone ever tried snakeskin bamboo? Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory'

Seems to be a cultivar of black bamboo.

Bamboo Plantation offers it for sale and says it's "larger and more upright than the type plant."

Any thoughts are appreciated. pic below.

Here is a link that might be useful: snakeskin bamboo pic

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

Yes, I grew it for about 14 years. Gets pretty big, much larger than regular black bamboo. Tends to grow out at an angle at the edge of the grove. If I was in your zone I'd be growing Moso ... what am I saying, I am growing Moso although it's not going to get that big here.

I think the coolest bamboos for looks are the yellow and green striped kinds. Bambusa Vulgarus Vitatta. I planted that at my sisters house in Florida and man did it grow fast.

RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

I planted some Bory about 10 years ago, here next to a creek beside my house. It hasn't spread very much and hasn't gotten very large, but then I do nothing for it. We have had several unusually dry years here and that hasn't help the bamboo any.

One thing I have noticed, is that it has the gray look of Henon, and I actually thought that it was Henon and was sold to me mislabeled.

After digging some up and putting it in a pot, it immediately put up new shoots that were more green and had the characteristic spots that is seen with Bory, so I know it's Bory, but why it has the 'ghost' colour to it,...I don't know, but it makes a beautiful grove although it is growing among other large vegetation.

The largest culms might be 1 1/2 inches thick and about 20 feet tall. This past Summer was our first wet spell in a long while so the Bory should be shooting nicely this Spring, and I can't wait to see how big the new culms are.

I think it is more upright and so far is larger than my black bamboo.


RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

Thanks for the recomendtions.

I just purchased four pots of Moso that hasn't arrived yet, I also have some common cane pole, (aurea?) I've just dug up... and one pot of common black Nigra that just arrived.

I have some more room and "Bory" just looks beautiful so thought I'd give it a try.

I will look into the other recomendations. Thanks!

RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

Moso is a beauty, but it is slow to reach large size here, but I think it is worth the wait.

Don't know how they will do in your area, but there are several clumpers that are really beautiful and don't need containment like the runners.

Look into the Bambusas.

B. Oldhamii, B. Textilis, and B. tuldoides(Punting Pole) all get 40 feet tall here. The Oldhamii has 4 inch culms.

B. chungii does well and has blue culms.

Dozens to choose from depending on what height and colour you are looking for.

Good Luck


RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

This is my plan:

I have two or three acres off to the side of the property that has some 15 to 20 year old pines and a few small southern red oaks. This bit of land is far enough from the house site that the bamboo can go ahead and take it over. I'd like four or five varieties of spreading bamboo to sorta work it out amongst themselves. The yellow and green striped, Bambusa Vulgarus Vitatta sounds interesting... but I suppose that is a clumper?

One of the goals is to provide nesting cover for released pheasants.

Elsewhere, I'd like some clumping bamboo. B. chungii, with the blue culms, sounds like a must-have.

Between B. Oldhamii, B. Textilis, and B. tuldoides(Punting Pole)... which would be your first recomendation? I have to limit the money I spend....


sasa palmata

One of the spreading bamboos I am considering is Sasa palmata, which is a short bamboo that I thought might complement the taller varieties mentioned above. How might they all interact if I plant them within thirty or forty feet of each other... with the palmata interlaced between the larger varieties?

RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

Sasa palmata likes mostly shade so it probably would do great under a larger variety, as long as it doesn't get root-bound or in other words, as long as it has a lot of room to grow freely. You may have to give extra water during dry spells, at least until it is all established.

I have some that I recently planted under some tall oak trees and it has to compete with the underbrush which is very thick, and so far it is doing great.

Yes, Bambusa Vulgarus Vitatta is a clumper.

For my area here, I would choose Bambusa textilis first since it is cold hardy in this area, withstanding temps down to 15F without much damage at all. It is a carefree plant and looks great even in windy areas. The lower six or seven feet of culms have no limbs, after the plant reaches some size, making a very well-groomed plant, and the culms grow very dense or close together so it makes a great screen.

I like Oldhamii for it's huge size and very erect growing culms. They grow straight up and can get over 5 inches thick, but here 4 is about the max. Also. it is not quite as cold hardy as the textilis.

The tuldoides is a smaller plant and kind of an open clumper with 2 inch culms. It is about as cold hardy as the oldhamii.


RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

I've tried growing smaller bamboos under larger ones and they tend to get shaded out except at the edge of the grove. My bory grew large because I mulched and fertilized. Seven inches of chopped leaves each fall. Also watered in winter when needed. I'm at the edge of it's lower hardiness zone.

I don't know what pheasants would like for hiding in. Seems like they are big enough birds they would need to have room for their wings. I don't see them flying out of 30 foot high bamboo grove. Seems like a lower bamboo would be their thing. They could hide then burst upwards and fly away. I know they escape by running too so I guess they might like the taller stuff. I would think they roost on the ground, and would have difficulty holding on to the tiny branches of bamboo if they do roost in trees. They are big birds.

RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

MacDaddy, the pheasants will have plenty of trees to roost in if they choose. (Some pheasant species roost on the ground, others in trees). The bamboo will just be for day cover and nesting cover, but I see your point about the lower bamboo.

Kt... thanks for the info on the clumping bamboos.

Are there any spectacular running bamboos that would grow in Mississippi, that I have missed?

RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

I like P. henon and P. Vivax(and aureocaulis) for larger runners.

Pseudosasa amabilis 'TONKIN CANE' is a large size bamboo and grows very erect with straight culms. It is basically a larger version of Pseudosasa japonica 'Arrow Bamboo'.

There are many to choose from if you want some colour, such as yellow culms with green stripes or green culms with yellow stripes. Some have pink on them at certain times of the year. Candy stripe bamboo might even do well in your area.

I find it hard to limit bamboo to only few species. Once you start to grow it, you want more and more...

Good Luck


RE: Phyllostachys nigra 'Bory' snakeskin

You can try one of the two native bamboos. Arundinaria gigantea is one of them.

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