Very large-leaved runner?

Discussion in 'Poaceae' started by DGuertin, May 15, 2008.

  1. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Got this in an email from someone looking for help removing it from the property it's taken over, and I'm completely scoobied as to what species or even *genus* it might be! I had figured Phyllostachys Aurea prior to this, as that's the usual culprit around here. This description is absolutely *not* P. Aurea... It was cut down in the fall, and has popped back with fresh 18" culms since. Will be going by to get photos, hopefully this evening. This has got to be distinctive enough to someone to be able to venture a guess. A large Pseudosasa, maybe?

    "Best I can remember on the bamboo, they had stalks about an inch thick but don't know if that was at maturity or not. The leaves were about a 15 - 18 inches or so long, about 3 - 4 inches wide and had a hint of red color in them. This was growing in an area approximately 3' by 50' on the north wall of a house."

    Thanks all!
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Compare with Sasa palmata.
     
  3. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Well it's possible! I received a follow-up email that got me to wondering... She said she though it was a banana tree, but her neighbour said it was bamboo. I started thinking maybe Calla or Canna Lilies, but won't know until tomorrow or so. Would *love* to find out it's this bamboo, though!
     
  4. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    Ahh well... Had my hopes up, but it wasn't bamboo. Canna Lilies...
     
  5. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Sasa senanensis, would be my guess. (I think that's the latest name for Sasa palmata.)

    Don't know about your friend's area, but this is fairly widely planted around Washington, DC, where it grows more than head-high and imparts a jungly, tropical look to woodlands and larger properties. It's not extremely aggressive as runners go, but I'd imagine that, once established, it would be the devil to get rid of.

    Someday I want to try this plant in Maine -- it's said to be hardy to zone 5 -- though I suspect it would only get about 3-4 feet tall here.
     
  6. Weekend Gardener

    Weekend Gardener Active Member 10 Years

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    Very few temperate bamboos can survive in the shade. The large leaves, short stature are suggestive of Indocalamus tessellatus.htm, a shade loving runner with leaves up to 24 inches long and 4-6 inches wide. We grow a clump of it in a north completely shaded corner of our property for a supply of leaves for cooking a seasonal food called Bak Chang. The BaK Chang season is coming soon - the fifth lunar month. It usually coincides with the dragon boat festival, which is why the Vancouver Rio Tinto Alcan dragon boat festival will be 21-22 June at False Creek.

    The only doubts are the reddish tinge to the leaves and the one inch culms - the largest culms in our Indocalamus is 1/2 inch, and the leaves are green. We have not found it difficult to control - it is the most shallow rooted of all our bamboos and errant rhizomes are easy to pull up. It is a beautiful bamboo, though.

    (By the way, if you are buying I tesselatus, tell the vendor that you are growing it for food preparation - that way, it is exempt from BC's Provincial Sales Tax!)
     
  7. kaspian

    kaspian Active Member 10 Years

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    Albert at Burt's Bamboos in Massachusetts claims on his website that he's had Sasa senanensis successfully competing with the roots of Norway maples, which suggests a shady growing position, not to mention an impressive level of thuggery. I've never grown this species myself -- I wouldn't want any Norway maples coming around looking for a fight.
     
  8. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    Edit: Whoops, didn't notice you had resolved it. Hard to imagine confusing Cannas with bamboo but there you go. :)
    I'll leave my reply in case it helps anyone else stumbling over this thread because knotweed seems to be the most commonly confused with bamboo plant
    ------------------------------------------------
    It could be (without a picture but with the description you mentioned) Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum ) also erroneously called "Mexican bamboo" which is one of the major reasons bamboo gets a bad name being associated with this invasive weed.

    http://www.extension.umn.edu/yardandgarden/ygbriefs/h513mexbamboo.html

    It has hollow stems with joints on them and it spreads by running rhizomes and it's way more invasive than any bamboo.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  9. JCardina

    JCardina Active Member

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    You should tell that person that before they dig them all up they should post about it at a local garden center or something. There are a *lot* of people that collect Cannas who would likely go dig them up for them.
     
  10. DGuertin

    DGuertin Active Member 10 Years

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    I picked up a couple slabs of the root and rhizome stock just for the fun of it, and she did give me a couple of Sago pups, so I can't complain too much... Would *really* have liked for this to have been bamboo, but there is a fellow local to me that's offering up Henon at $1 a culm, and I get to dig it myself. So, I'll start a new thread here in a mo, and see what I can turn up with that.

    I am getting really, really fed up with the bloody knotweed I've got growing around here. Have taken to giving it a thorough watering with the rest of my plants, and t hen yanking it stratight up as best I can! We have horrible clay for soil, so soaking it a good bit first is absolutely neccesary; otherwise, it's like trying to pull a stick out of concrete...
     

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