This bamboo, like P. heteroclada and P. atrovaginata, has small air canals inside the rhizome making it tolerant of wet soil (but not standing water for long periods of time). It is a medium height, upright bamboo with rather large leaves for a Phyllostachys. It is a good choice for a tall screen. The culm nodes are distinct and prominent, and new shoots are known to be good eating. An unusual and underrated bamboo that should be used more often. At 10°F last winter 08/09, this bamboo showed no sign of cold damage.
The flowers in the last picture were taken in about 1994, and the small plant died shortly thereafter. We have had no flowering on any plants lately. The inflorescence is capitate, placing it in the Heteroclada grouping of the Phyllostachys: those tolerant of wet soil. A couple of the pictures show the very unusual culm sheath with auricles wrapping around the culm crossing on the back side.