Under the radar Chelsea contender

This new non-invasive bamboo makes impressive ground cover

One of the contenders for Chelsea Plant of The Year award this year was a plant that’s far less flamboyant than most of those entered and less of a breeding breakthrough. But it looks to me to be a really useful garden plant - and it didn’t even make the shortlist.

Fargesia murielae 'Luca'Fargesia murielae 'Luca' is a low, slowly spreading, evergreen bamboo that makes an ideal ground cover in inhospitable situations – it is not invasive.

Reaching no more than 50cm in height, ‘Luca’ develops a crowded mass of slender woody canes that are green at first and then become rather yellowish.

They make an impressive, exceptionally tight, weed-suppressing mass of growth and each is topped with narrow, slightly waved, pointed leaves that overlap to create a dense cover.

‘Luca’ is quite different from the 3m high umbrella bamboo from which it’s derived.

It also makes a useful, unusually tolerant, evergreen container plant - especially useful when regular watering cannot be depended upon – and it’s reliable hardiness ensures that it will thrive in containers in chilly situations.

‘Luca’ was selected as a seedling by the German breeder Frank Schnupper who also developed the earlier, and rather taller, ‘Elias’.

Fargesia murielae 'Luca' is available from Burncoose Nurseries.
*Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the views of its author, which are not necessarily shared by the RHS

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