Types of Ornamental Bamboo Plants

The bamboo's absence of flowers, fruit and other seasonal features is made up for by their graceful, swaying stems, and fine leaves that rustle in the breeze.
From: DK Books - Learn to Garden
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©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Golden Bamboo, Fishing Pole Bamboo

Phyllostachys aureosulcata f. aureocaulis; Medium-sized to large bamboo that can spread vigorously in warm climates. Upright, bright golden-yellow canes. H 6–30 ft (2–10 m); S indefinite.

Sasa Palmate

Sasa palmata f. nebulosa; Vigorous, spreading bamboo with 14–16-in- (35–40-cm-) long, glossy, bright green leaves. H to 6 ft (2 m); S indefinite.

Golden Chinese Timber Bamboo

Phyllostachys vivax f. aureocaulis; A sturdy-stemmed, fast-growing bamboo with butter-yellow canes, sometimes green-striped. Can grow tall. H to 30 ft (10 m); S indefinite.

Fountain Bamboo

Fargesia nitida; Slender, purple-green canes topped by narrow, mid-green leaves. Compact and slow-growing. H to 15 ft (5 m); S 5 ft (1.5 m).

Arrow Bamboo

Pseudosasa japonica; Spreading bamboo that will form tall thickets in warm climates. Young canes are olive green, but pale beige when mature. H to 20 ft (6 m); S indefinite.

Black Bamboo

Phyllostachys nigra; Canes become almost jet-black by their third year. A neat clump-former. H 10–15 ft (3–5 m); S 6–10 ft (2–3 m).

Phyllostachys

Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens; Hardy, evergreen clump-forming bamboo with greenish-brown canes that arch at the base. H 20–25 ft (6–8 m); S indefinite.

Yushania Maculata

Yushania maculata; Upright, spreading bamboo with narrow, green leaves; canes turn from blue-gray to olive green. H to 12 ft (4 m); S indefinite.

Umbrella Bamboo, Muriel’s Bamboo

Fargesia murielae; Compact, elegant, arching bamboo with cascades of delicate leaves and canes that turn from green to yellow as they mature. H 12 ft (4 m); S 5 ft (1.5 m).

Veitch’s Bamboo

Sasa veitchii; Spreading bamboo with purple canes and broad, dark-green leaves that have white, parchmentlike margins in fall. H 5 ft (1.5 m); S indefinite.

Henonis Bamboo

Phyllostachys nigra f. henonis; Bright green canes turn yellow-green when mature. Glossy, evergreen leaves, which are downy and rough when young. H 30 ft (10 m); S 6–10 ft (2–3 m).

Narihira Bamboo

Semiarundinaria fastuosa var. viridis; Tall, upright, clump-forming bamboo with green canes—ideal for woodland gardens. H to 22 ft (7 m); S 6 ft (2 m).

Thamnocalamus

Thamnocalamus spathiflorus; A fast-growing, clump-forming bamboo. The stems turn an unusual pinkish-brown as they age. H to 30 ft (10 m); S 20 ft (6 m).

Umbrella Bamboo ‘Simba’

Fargesia murielae ‘Simba’; So-called dwarf variety but may still grow to a good size. Compact and clump-forming evergreen. H 6 ft (2 m); S 5 ft (1.5 m).

Dwarf White Stripe Bamboo

Pleioblastus variegatus; Small, bushy, spreading bamboo with clearly striped, green and white leaves. H 21⁄2–5 ft (0.75–1.5 m); S 4 ft (1.2 m).