Phyllostachys vivax

Phyllostachys vivax is a reliable and hardy choice of bamboo for cold climates.

Regarded as a timber bamboo due to large sized and tall straight culms, but full size growth is still dependant on local conditions and size in warmer climates will be more timber like than those in cold climates.

Growth and Spread

Phyllostachys vivax bamboo yellow canes green stripe

In cool regions these bamboo will be more likely form into tight clumping growth habits.

Height

Minimum to maximum height: 6-20 metres (20-65').

Culms

Thick culms that grow tall and straight with a diameter of 13cm (5") being achievable.

Spread

75cm-2m (2.5ft - 6.5ft)

It can take up ten years to spread to maturity.

Appearance

Phyllostachys vivax bamboo canes are green or yellow in colour depending on the species and often have stripes on internodes.

For example; green with yellow stripes or yellow with green stripes, as can be seen in the photos on this page. Old culms pale with age.

Phyllostachys vivax green bamboo culm with yellow striping

Culm Sheaths

Sheaths are a colourful creamy colour with brown markings and spots that add to the attractiveness of the bamboo.

Leaves and Branches

With well space branching and foliage this bamboo looks fantastic when viewed from a distance. The branches and leaves tend to arch from the beautiful and coloured culms making all in all a majestic and architectural plant.

Shoots

Early summer sees the production of new shoots. If there is still the occasional frost in the forecast you are advised to protect new shoots to prevent damage from heavy frosts. The shooting period is the most exciting but if they start to shoot early in the year you don’t want to go out in the morning and see the frost has burnt your lovely new shoots.

Phyllostachys vivax bamboo, green canes with yellow stripes, yellow canes with green stripes

Hardiness

Fully hardy to -20C (-4F) or even lower such as -23C (10F).

Although it doesn’t get that cold where I am I believe the survival rates in these low temperatures in the ground are reliable. Not so likely to survive extreme cold if contained in pots though, I would tend to put a potted plant in a sheltered location for the winter.

Uses of Phyllostachys vivax Bamboo

P. vivax are large enough for groves or a screen, but I think they look fantastic as solitary plants in a landscaping project where they can be seen in all their architectural glory, the culms are stunning.

Harvesting poles.

Variations

Phyllostachys vivax f. Aureocaulis
Phyllostachys vivax g. huanvenzhu

Phyllostachys - List

Alternative Large Hardy Bamboos

Phyllostachys edulis

Phyllostachys parvifolia

Chusquea gigantea