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Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
White culm sheaths create a checker board color pattern in late spring through summer, beautiful!

Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
Full grown F. robusta, about 15 feet tall
Click on photos to see larger image


Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
Lots of new shoots on a 15 gallon F. robusta.


Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
10 gallon size (about 8-10 feet tall) F. robusta planted in a narrow strip of soil about 2 feet wide at a local site in Portland. Even new plants make an effective screen. In 2 to 3 years it will form a solid veil of evergreen foliage.  The plants are spaced about 3 feet apart. 3 to 5 feet of spacing is recommended in general for dense screens.

 photo copyright:  Ned Jaquith 2005 
At our nursery, we dug a large F. robusta out of the ground  and washed the soil away from the root mass.  Look at all those new shoots!  In February, new  F. robusta canes emerging from the ground remind us that spring is just around the corner.


Photo copyright: Dain Sansome, Bamboo Garden
Woody admires a Fargesia robusta at the Bamboo Garden.

 
Fargesia robusta 'Campbell'
(Campbell's form)
commonly called "Robusta"
 

Maximum Height: 12 to 15 ft.
Diameter: 0.75 inch
Hardiness:  0
USDA Zone recommended 7 through 9
, not for climates with high heat and humidity (southeastern states).

     Fargesia robusta is a  good choice for a clumping bamboo that can create a narrow screen, being taller, more upright, and more robust than Fargesia nitida and Fargesia murielae. This species has dark green foliage and light green culms, with new shoots that are hairy and rusty red upon emergence from the ground in early spring. The culm sheaths persist and soon fade to a light color, almost white, giving the culms a very attractive checkerboard look in the spring through early summer. This bamboo is more sun tolerant than most other Fargesia, but in a warmer climate it would prefer protection from the hot afternoon sun. We have one growing in full sun that has never shown any sign of leaf burn. It is more compact than one would be with shade (about 10 feet tall), and a slightly lighter shade of green.

      Our Fargesia robusta is known as the 'Campbell' type, which was the first introduction of this species into the Western world from Sichuan, China.  It  has slightly smaller leaves and a tighter clumping habit than the 'Pingwu' type, which is from a later collection and is used by Bamboo Select in creating their Green Screen  variety. 
       F. robusta 'Wolong', collected in 1996, has larger leaves than both the 'Pingwu' and 'Campbell' types, and has a glossy sheen which highlights its fine qualities.  F. robusta 'Wenchuan' is available now and has similar form to 'Wolong', but the leaf is a little smaller and more evenly arranged, or pointed.
    Another intriguing specimen from a later collection is known in Europe as F. robusta 'Robusta'. The name seems redundant, but it is reputed to be very tall and upright, with a larger leaf than the 'Campbell' and purple tones on the branches. Decorative. We have a few that we are developing, keep an eye out for this one.
      F. sp. 'Scabrida' has similar qualities to F. robusta, but is even more colorful.
    With the vigor and height inherent to all types of Fargesia robusta, 'Campbell', 'Wolong', Pingwu', 'Wenchuan', and 'Robusta', are valuable plants for the landscape due to their versatility, and for collectors due to their fine colors and form.

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Photo courtesy of Phil Comer, Halfside Bamboo
A 30 foot long F. robusta hedge has been pruned to make vertical, upright, and topped at 12 feet to stay compact. A very effective, low maintenance privacy screen.



Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
A dense screen of Fargesia robusta: four plants, about 2.5 years old, started from 10 gallon size.

Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
Fargesia robusta along a wall, before and after a spring thinning. Fargesia can be kept light and airy if that is the desired design. click on photo to see larger image.

Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden 
Pruned to create a light and airy screen.

Photo copyright : Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
Fargesia robusta has a clumping type rhizome system (also called pachymorph rhizome)