Friday, May 14, 2010

Fargesia robusta

Because they're spread around the collection, it's not immediately apparent how many different "clumping bamboos" we grow in the Asian Collections. This is one of my favorites because the culms are both nicely striped as they mature, and are larger than those of most of the other Zone 7 selections; these new ones are well over 1/2 inch in diameter. The commoner species of Fargesia don't produce culms anywhere near this size. The clumps of this species can top 15 feet under favorable conditions; ours is not that tall but still growing.

Clumping Bamboos are getting a lot of interest because....well....because they won't eat whole neighborhoods. Just in the past year and a half, we've added a number of different new clumpers, but they haven't been in the ground long enough for us to draw any conclusions. Three small plants of a Borinda came through last winter unscathed in the middle of China Valley. We had a legitimate Zone 7 winter though not a particularly stressful one. Still, it's encouraging bcause descriptions suggested it was likely a Zone 8 plant. We will continue to assess and I will continue to report.

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