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.