Phyllostachys parvifolia will grow in cold environments; it has thick tall culms, and is a good hardy species of bamboo for a focal point in your garden landscaping.
P. Parvifolia is an open clumping variety, but I have seen one that threw up a shoot 6ft away from the main clump.
Although that may make you think this clumping habit can’t really be totally trusted... it was a big plant and may just have been looking for water!
Open clumping growth and over ten years you can expect a spread of between 75 cm. and 1.5 m (around 2.5 to 5 ft.). Shape of clumping bamboo shown in the picture.
Maximum height: 12 metres (40 ft.) but more likely to be an average of 7 metres (23 feet.) height. As with all bamboo, growth will achieve less if you try to keep it in a big container of some kind but you can still get a big plant if it is contained in some way but still with enough room to grow.
Has potential to achieve a maximum diameter of around 10 centimetres (4 inches) in optimum conditions of cooler climates.
Thick straight blue purple tinged shoots grow fast and only produce their pairs of branches once they have reached height. If you do plant in a lawn be careful as you walk around the plant so as not to damage any potential new shoots.
The sheaths on this bamboo are a nice deep brown with mottling or stripes.
Sheath colours add interest to the dark green culms as they are growing during the early part of summer months although they do drop after a while.
Once the sheaths fall of a culm it will be plain green with some white or silvery white showing in the area just under nodes.
Leave the sheaths where they fall on the ground, they provide good mulch for the bamboo, prevent weeds from growing under the plant, and also help with nutrients in the soil.
The dark green culms grow straight and vertical and, being clumping, this species of bamboo makes a great centrepiece or focal point in a garden.
There is a display of a powdery white underneath the nodes that adds to the attraction of the culms and breaks up the green colouring.
I have had one culm snap under high winds but strangely it looks like something had bitten part way through the culm prior to it snapping so it may not have been anything to do with the wind.
Perhaps it was my local wood pecker trying out a bit of bamboo instead of trees; I have seen it trying to peck the concrete lamppost before so nothing would surprise me.
Image: Bamboo growing through lawn
As I prefer bamboo with smaller leaves, I like the dark green and very small leaves of Phyllostachys parvifolia.
These leaves are actually quite dainty in comparison to a lot of Phyllostachys species and they don’t tend to block out your view of the culms as much as larger leaves do.
The leaf size is around 7cm long by 1.3cm wide at a maximum (2.75 x 0.5 inches).
Phyllostachys parvifolia branches are also relatively short so along with its tiny leaves the branches do not hide the majestic appearance of the beautiful straight thick culms.
The branches grow from nodes in pairs.
Said to be hardy to minimum of -20°C (-5°F) (zone 6). I bought one last year so I’ll see how it goes over the winter, although the temperature here has not dropped below -15°C before.
Use this species of bamboo as a focal point in your landscaping.
The plant is all dark green from the culms to leaves and the tall, thick, and straight culms make it an attractive hardy plant in climates that are cooler.
You will love its dainty leaves and it won’t overshadow any under planting if you should choose to do some.
You could plant a dwarf bamboo underneath but be aware that a lot of dwarf species do spread quite a lot, although you can just mow them to prevent further spreading.
Alternatively, you can mulch around the bamboo with an attractive mulch or plant in the middle of a lawn for impact.
Phyllostachys - List