Phyllostachys Aureosulcata Spectabilis Bamboo

In my opinion Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis is one of the most attractive species of bamboo that will no doubt reward you year on year with its variety of colour in culms and branches, along with dark and glossy foliage.

The bright yellow culms with the contrasting and pronounced darker green coloured sulci will really stand out in your garden landscape.

The occasional zigzagging shape of the culms is another fascinating characteristic of these plants. Young culms are tinged with pinks, reds, green, and creamy yellow colourings, pink and red colours that are also evident on some of the branches.

The ornamental value of Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis bamboo is undeniable.

Culm and Branch
Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis
Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis

Spread and Growing Habit

P. aureosulcata spectabilis
Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis

Juvenile spectabilis tend to maintain a bushier like appearance until they are well established but can then suddenly decide to send up shoots that are twice as tall and wide as it reaches maturity.

Of course, the length of time it takes to reach maturity and the size it will grow and spread to is dependent on climate and location as is usual with many different plant species.

As the plant matures, and the culms reach a more mature respectable width, you can safely remove the juvenile bushy type culms to show the mature culms in all their glory, but don't do this too early otherwise you may prevent the plant from reaching maturity so early.


As with most plants of any kind the climate and position have their part to play in the successful growth of Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis.

Localised climatic conditions will undoubtedly affect the health of the bamboo, how high it grows, and how far it will spread. Optimal conditions and this species may reach approximately 9 m (30ft.), poor conditions and it may achieve a height of around 4m (13 ft.). On average, you can expect it to reach 6 m (20 ft.) which when you see how high that is you'll know it is suitable for the majority of uses and gardens.

I have just acquired a juvenile Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis that I have put into a larger container to over winter and will decide towards spring if I want to plant it out or keep containerised.

Culm Width

The width of the bright yellow culms with their distinctive green sulci will reach a diameter at a maximum of 4.5 cm (1.75 in.)


This is a species that tends to shoot early and can be relied on to produce new shoots through the growing season. As a juvenile plant the shoots may not grow much wider in the initial seasons, tending to remain juvenile in appearance, and then all of a sudden it will sprout forth wider and higher shoots and growth.


The colours of the culm sheaths of Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis can show tremendous variety, which is one of the attractions of this species. Red, pink, green, and yellow colours mixed with strips and at various levels, you don't really know what the new culm is going to look like as it grows, I find it quite fascinating and this is one of my favourite species.


Yellow and Pink/Red tinged spectabilis canes
Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis

Although the mature culms may turn into a very bright yellow, when the culms are young they are more of a pale yellow colour, occasionally tinged with pinks.

The mature culms have very distinctive bright green sulci that really stand out against the yellow of the culm.

The culms can also sometimes be quite zigzagged with angles at the nodes, another varied and attractive ornamental aspect of this species.


Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis culms

Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis yellow culms and green sulci

The juvenile culm branches will also often show tints of different red and pink colours in the same way as the culms that are particularly visible and more colourful in sunlight.


A further attractive part of the species is the foliage; it is dark and glossy with some variegated creamy colour occasionally showing.


Hardy to a min. -26°C (-15°F), zone 5

Uses of Spectabilis

Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis is a stunning bamboo species that displays different colours along with the occasional zigzagged culms that are really attractive and should not be hidden away at the back of the garden but placed in a prominent position where you can see it.

It is a versatile species and does stand out really well when located in front of a background that is dark enough to show off the brightly coloured culms and sulci.

Makes a good screening bamboo and can make a thick bamboo grove if controlled.


Both these varieties display more green stripes on the yellow coloured culms than Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. spectabilis

Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Argus'

Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Harbin Inversa'

Another beautiful plant with bright gold yellow culms you may be interested in is Phyllostachys aureosulcata aureocaulis - Golden Crookstem or Yellow Groove

Phyllostachys - List