Scientific Name: Phyllostachys aurea

Common Name: golden bamboo

Habit: Bamboo is a rhizomatous, woody perennial that forms thick stands and chokes out native vegetation. Rhizomes of this plant creep underground over 1 meter deep. Sprouts commonly arise over 3 meters from the main stand and grow to a height of 8 meters. Its abundant glossy leaves remain evergreen.

Leaves: Leaf blades are glossy and lanceolate. Leaves are typically 1 to 2 cm wide and 1.5 dm long. Both sides of the leaf lack hairs but few hairs are often found near the petiole attachment. Stems are round and smooth with ridges at every node. An area just above the node will be flat on one side of the stem. Ligules are hairy and auricles may be present.

Identifying Characteristics: Bamboo can grow up to a height of 8 meters with a stem diameter of 5 cm. Its minimum temperature tolerance is estimated at 0 degrees.

Seed Fruit: Bamboo typically spreads by rhizomes and sprouts. Seed production is rare in the United States.

Where Found: Bamboo has escaped from ornamental plantings to become a serious weed in many settings. Often, bamboo planted by a neighbor tends to encroach on another neighbor's lawn. Bamboo thrives in moist, well drained soil and can be found in most areas of the southern US. Bamboo does not survive the extreme winters of the north.

  • Life cycle: perennial

  • Plant type: Grass

  • Auricle: present

  • Plant family: Poaceae

  • Hair surface: hairs on basal half only

  • Ligule: hairy

  • Length: 1-2 mm; less than 1 mm

  • Seed head: branched spike

  • Width: 6 to 15 mm; more than 15 mm

  • Grass stem: round