Pseudosasa japonica, Arrow Bamboo, is common and a very hardy temperate bamboo suited to a variety of conditions.
It’s a bamboo that is easy to grow and popular for using as hedging or screening.
The straight woody culms make good garden canes for using to support other plants and vegetables, and can be harvested for crafts projects.
Japonica / Arrow Bamboo providing protection in the winter and shade in the summer.
Spread and Growing Habits
Japonica is a hardy spreading bamboo that is quick to establish itself. It can grow in a clump, or under certain conditions may be prone to spreading over a number of years.
Spreading will be more likely if the plant needs to go looking for water. For example, I have a specimen plant growing along a bank as a windbreak/hedge and it spreads further along the bank each year, most likely on the search for water and nutrients.
The opposite is true of a division of the exact same plant that is located within a woodland setting and which has remained in a tight clump with no evidence of spreading whatsoever. My mum also has three clumps of Pseudosasa japonica var. pleioblastoides that have been in place for many years and have shown no signs of running at all.
Maximum height: 5 metres (16.5 ft.) but 4 metres (13 ft.) is the average.
Maximum diameter: 2 cm (0.8 inches).
The pale sheaths on the lower part of mature culms are not shed unless a branch emerges and even then, the branch sheaths often do not shed.
Dark green tall and straight, the culms are useful to harvest for garden canes and crafts.
Branches emerge as single branches, often more towards the top of the culm.
These long drooping leaves rustle in the wind and provide good cover for privacy or shelter from winter weather as a windbreak, or to provide dappled shade from the summer sun.
Leaf size can be up to a useful 30 cm by 4 cm (12 by 1 ½ inches)
Hardy to min. -23°C (-10°F), zone 5 to 6
This species is tolerant of semi shade or full sun.
Uses of Arrow Bamboo
This is definitely an architectural bamboo that can be shown off as a specimen plant or used for privacy hedge and windbreaks in landscaping. Pruning to a node will produce two culms growing out from one and create a dense evergreen hedge to the height you want.
As already mentioned, this commonly known as Arrow Bamboo can be used in a variety of craft projects… where do you think it got its common name 🙂
Pseudosasa japonica var. japonica
Pseudosasa japonica Tsutsumiana
Pseudosasa japonica var. pleioblastoides – a darker green variety.
Pseudosasa Genus description and list of species.
Japonica is a native species originating from Japan.