Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Phyllostachys Praecox

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Phyllostachys praecox (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Phyllostachys praecox (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to shade

Flowering period: N/A

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 8m

Eventual Spread: 1.5m

Hardiness: 7a – 9b

Family: Poaceae

Phyllostachys praecox is a clump forming evergreen bamboo. Its mid green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 12cm long and 2.5cm broad. Its yellow/ green canes may achieve a diameter of up to 6cm. Its infrequent flowers is a panicle and as with most bamboos the plant will most probably die after flowering. It is a shallow rooting bamboo.

Phyllostachys praecox, commonly known as Early Bamboo, is native to east and south China. The shoots of this bamboo are edible.

Phyllostachys praecox Leaf (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Phyllostachys praecox Leaf (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

The etymological root of the binomial name Phyllostachys is derived from the Greek phyllon meaning ‘leaf’ and stachys meaning ‘spike’. Praecox is derived from the Latin prae meaning ‘before’ and coxi meaning ‘ripening’, i.e. early ripening.

The landscape architect may find Phyllostachys praecox useful as a large shade tolerant bamboo and is suitable for woodland gardens.

Ecologically, Phyllostachys praecox is of little value to UK wildlife.

Phyllostachys praecox Cane (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Phyllostachys praecox Cane (06/01/2013, Kew Gardens, London)

Phyllostachys praecox prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Phyllostachys praecox requires little maintenance.


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