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Is this bamboo a clumper?

Hi all -

I have a 7m north facing wall at the back of my garden I’m keen to screen out with something evergreen; I’m keen for a Japanese garden down there so am leaning towards bamboo. I’ve been warned constantly about the perils of bamboo but my plan was to go with a clumping variety and build a contained and lined bed at the back of a bed. A local nursery currently has a great deal on Phyllostachys aureosulcata spectabilis but after looking up that variety online I’m confused if it’s clumping or a runner. It’s given a variety of common names but I’m going off the Latin provided by nursery for now. Does anyone know if this is a good option for what I’m after and if it is actually a clumping variety?

thanks so much!

Posts

  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,538
    It’s definitely a running type and can get very large. In the UK, it often behaves like a clumping bamboo for many, many years and some sellers erroneously describe it as a clumper for that reason, but there is always the possibility that at some point down the line it will run and it has been known to break out of concrete tanks and a lined bed may not contain it if it decides to go for it. Please don’t take the chance. If it must be bamboo, choose a proper clumping fargesia form. Even clumping forms can get large, they still spread, they just don’t ‘run’, so research carefully the ultimate width of the cultivar you choose. 
  • dilbydilby Posts: 66
    Nollie said:
    It’s definitely a running type and can get very large. In the UK, it often behaves like a clumping bamboo for many, many years and some sellers erroneously describe it as a clumper for that reason, but there is always the possibility that at some point down the line it will run and it has been known to break out of concrete tanks and a lined bed may not contain it if it decides to go for it. Please don’t take the chance. If it must be bamboo, choose a proper clumping fargesia form. Even clumping forms can get large, they still spread, they just don’t ‘run’, so research carefully the ultimate width of the cultivar you choose. 
    Thans Nollie - That's the kind of advice I was after. This is a rear wall that has a picky neighbour the other side of it, and the last thing I need is a dispute (it's also his brick wall). Frustraingly RHS rate this highly partly due to it's ease to control but I wonder if they rate it on the first few years like you say. Do you know of any other good options that still grow to say 2m tall? The clumpers I have found tend to all be much shorter.
  • KT53KT53 GloucestershirePosts: 7,535
    Have a look at the various Fargesia variants.  I did see a description of one recently which remains upright but I can't remember the detail.  They are generally 'clumpers'.
  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 2,507
    I have a fargesia robusta  and several canes are 6ft but most are shorter and bend, it's also known as umbrella or fountain grass/bamboo. It's not as attractive as some.

    You might find this website informative http://uk-bamboos.co.uk/

    There might be a grass that suits your situation advice here https://www.knollgardens.co.uk/


  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 6,538
    There are few that have an ultimate height of less than 3m, and you need to allow 1.5-2m ultimate spread, even if it takes years to get to that. If you have a picky neighbour make sure you plant it a good metre from the wall. Bamboos look less than elegant squished against a wall in any case. 

    Perhaps you would be better, even with a fargesia, to plant in a large pot and bring it forward away from the wall? Large plants brought forward can work really well and you can adopt the Japanese technique of ‘the glorification of the glimpse’ by not revealing everything all at the same time.

    Have a look at the F. Jiuzhaigou series, number IV ‘Black Cherry’ is meant to be the most compact, to 2.5m, although it’s  difficult to source - the red version is more widely available. I like F. Nitida as well and the Rufa types are also popular.

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