Gardening Magazine

Sasa Veitchii

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch

Sasa veitchii (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Sasa veitchii (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to shade

Flowering period: Unknown

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1.2m

Eventual Spread: Indefinite

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Poaceae

Sasa veitchii is an evergreen dwarf, running bamboo. Its mid green leaves are lanceolate with entire margins,  are up to 25cm long and 5cm wide. Its leaves emerge mid green, develop white/ cream margins through the summer and these persist until the leaf drops. Its roots are rhizomes enabling this plant to spread, it can be very invasive.

Sasa veitchii, commonly known as Japanese Bamboo, Veitch’s Bamboo or Kuma Bamboo, is native to Japan. In its native habitat it grows in woodlands. Sasa veitchii is synonymous with Arundinaria veitchii.

The etymological root of the binomial name Sasa is from the Japanese name for certain dwarf bamboos. Veitchii is named after John Veitch (1725 – 1839), a horticulturalist.

Sasa veitchii Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Sasa veitchii Leaf (01/03/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Sasa veitchii useful as an effective low growing, evergreen ground cover plant. It will form an effective evergreen low hedge. Consideration should be given to this plant’s potentially invasive nature when specifying.

Ecologically, Sasa veitchii is of little wildlife value in the UK.

Sasa veitchii prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Sasa veitchii requires little maintenance. For a low growing appearance it may be cut to ground level after its spring growth. Spreading rhizomes may be removed on an annual basis. A root barrier may be used to restrict the spread of this plant.

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