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Phyllostachys nigra
  • RHS AGM

black bamboo

P. nigra is a large, elegant evergreen bamboo with arching canes, green at first becoming blackish-brown with maturity, and narrow-lanceolate leaves to 12cm in length

Other common names
kuro-chiku
whangee cane

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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
5–10 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Loam
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Black Green Green
Summer Black Green Green
Autumn Black Green Green
Winter Black Green Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Poaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Suckering
Genus

Phyllostachys are attractive, large, evergreen bamboos with running rhizomes, although in cool temperate climates may initially behave like clump-forming genera. Canes grooved on alternate sides between the nodes, with usually two leafy branches at each node

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China

How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil, in full sun or partial shade. Protect from cold drying winds. In a container grow in a loam-based compost and feed with a balanced liquid fertiliser on a monthly basis during the growing season. May remain clump-forming in poor or dry soils but can become invasive in warm, moist or favourable conditions; see bamboo control and bamboo cultivation

Propagation

Propagate by division in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Architectural
  • Patio and container plants
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Remove weak, dead, damaged or spindly stems in spring and thin to show off stems to best effect. Cut out any flowering shoots promptly to discourage more from forming - see bamboo cultivation

Pests

Slugs may damage new shoots

Diseases

Generally disease free

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