photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden, 2019
New Shoots, early May

Photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden, 2019
P. atrovaginata, about 35 feet tall at Bamboo Garden

  Photo copyright Noah Bell, 2019
Phyllostachys atrovaginata
Common name: Incense Bamboo

Maximum Height: 35-40 feet
Diameter: 2.75 inches
Hardiness: -10F 
( listed by the American Bamboo Society at -15F)
USDA Zone recommended 5b through 10.  (may do fine in 5a)

        Formerly called Phyllostachys congesta, this bamboo is very quick growing. This is an excellent bamboo for landscaping use due to its rapid growth, relatively large diameter canes in relation to height, and straight upright culms. Phyllostachys atrovaginata has an unusual characteristic in that the culms have a wax on the surface with a fragrance somewhat like sandalwood. Like water bamboo, Phyllostachys heteroclada, this species has air canals in the rhizomes and roots which are an adaptation for growing in wet soils.  It begins shooting for us here in Portland during the last week of April. The new shoots are among the best tasting and have an interesting culm sheath pattern (see picture on left). Also, good quality wood for crafts.

Photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden, 2019
Cross cut of a rhizome showing air canals along the outer wall which allow this bamboo to tolerate wetter soils than most other bamboos.

Phyllostachys atrovaginata at Dr. Don Emenheiser's, Corvallis, OR.  2 inches cane diameter and 25 feet tall.

Photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden, 2019

Photo copyright Ned Jaquith, 2017                                                                      Photo copyright Noah Bell, 2019
P. atrovaginata (15 feet tall) at Bamboo Garden in 2017...    the same plant approaching 30 feet in Feb. 2019
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