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Phyllostachys heteroclada

Water Bamboo

Max/Avg Height (ft.): 35, 20

Diameter: 2 inches

Hardiness: -5 F

USDA Zones: 6b-10

This bamboo is popular for screens and groves because of its vigor.  It is also called Phyllostachys purpurata.  Water Bamboo has air canals in the rhizomes and roots which allow it to grow in wet soils where other bamboos would suffer. At maturity this species has the darkest gray-green culms of our bamboos. It is very straight and tall.

There is a cultivar of Water Bamboo called P. heteroclada 'Solid Stem' which, amazingly, has a solid cane!  It also is listed by the American Bamboo Society to be  cold hardy to -11 F.  It has similar growth habit and appearance to the regular P. heteroclada in these photos, though does not usually get taller than 25 feet.

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Plant Name


1 to 3 ft


2 to 4 ft


4 to 7 ft


7 to 12 ft


12 to 15 ft


15 to 18 ft


18 to 25 ft


up to 35 ft
Mature Height Max / Avg. (ft.) in Zone 8
or Clumping
Zone Range
Light Tolerance
Range (1-5)
*Depends on climate*
Phyllostachys heteroclada
35, 20