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Bambusa oldhamii - Giant Timber Bamboo

English Name: Giant Timber Bamboo, Oldham’s Bamboo
Chinese Name: 绿竹
Max Height: 65 Feet (20 m)
Max Diameter: 4 inches (10 cm)
Minimum Temp: 20°F (-7°C)
Hardiness Zone: 9
Light Exposure: Full sun
Rhizome System: Clumping (pachymorph)

Brief: Bambusa oldhamii is native to China, and the most commonly cultivated clumping timber bamboo in the United States. The shoots are commercially harvested in Asia, and regarded as choice. It is also commonly used in furniture making, most notably in Taiwan. The culms are tall and erect, with an attractive dark green color. Branches are generally short in length, but the leaves are wide and long. Its large size makes it an ideal choice as a hedge bamboo where the spacing permits.

Physical Description: The culms are tall and erect, with an attractive dark green color. Branches are generally short in length. Leaves are wide and long.

Habitat and Location: Native to China. The Most commonly grown tropical clumper in the United States, common in Florida and Southern California. Also common in South America.

Common Uses: Works great as a tall hedge or privacy screen. Its culm walls are thick, but somewhat soft, making the species unsuitable for most construction applications.

Culinary Uses: Its shoots regarded as choice, and commercially harvested in China and Taiwan. The shoots can be consumed raw or cooked, although they are slightly bitter when eaten raw.

Cultivation: It is a non-invasive clumping bamboo, and thrives in tropical regions, especially Florida, California, and Texas. It is cold hardy to 20°F (-7°C), or to hardiness zone 9. Constant cold temperatures have the potential to kill the plant. Colder climates will limit the plant's overall growth potential. The exact flowering cycle is unknown, but only occurs at intervals of many years. The plant will significantly weaken and possibly die after flowering.


Bambusa oldhamii Giant Timber BambooBambusa oldhamii - Giant Timber Bamboo (Photo: Stan Shebs)