A beautiful and very hardy Fargesia with new culms that have attractive rusty reddish sheaths and a clumping root system. This new introduction is proving to be one of the most hardy and versatile clumping bamboo in the landscape. It is a shorter Fargesia, only up to about 10 feet tall when mature, but a vigorous grower, sending up many new culms each season. The new culms leaf out early in the summer, making it an excellent choice where its rapid growth is desired. Like Fargesia dracocephala and Fargesia robusta, its leaves do not curl in the sun, but it is hardier than either of these. Yet like all Fargesias, it should be planted with protection from the hot afternoon sun, especially in warmer climates.
We have customers who have grown very successful evergreen screens, using Fargesia sp. Rufa in places such as Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Tennessee, Missouri, Idaho, South Carolina, and many other states. It has proved to be the most versatile, hardy clumping bamboo in our selection. Unfortunately it cannot handle the high heat and humidity of the southern gulf states. If you need a clumping hedge that gets up to 8 to 10 feet tall, with a beautiful, evergreen leaf texture, Rufa will not disappoint - just remember, afternoon shade is preferred.
Recently suggested by Chris Stapleton to be the original "Dragon's Head Bamboo" (Fargesia dracocephala) described by Chinese botanists. F. robusta, F. sp. Scabrida, and F. sp. Rufa all have similar culm sheaths and culms. We believe they are closely related.