Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis'                      

Height: 18' to 25'
Canopy Width: 3' to 35'
Culm Diameter: 1" to 2"
Hardiness: -10 F
Light Tolerance: 2 through 5
USDA Range: 5 through 10
2 gallon:  $35
5 gallon:  $65
10 gallon: $95

    How to find the right words to do this bamboo justice?  The photos speak better than anything I can muster. 'Spectabilis', just think "Spectacular". It lives up to its name, and then some.

    These pictures were taken at our nursery in May.  The culms photographed are new shoots that sprung up in late March and have reached their full height.  Obviously, it was a very good year for 'Spectabilis' shoots.  At this phase in their growth, the color is most vivid. Lemon yellow, contrasting with a green striped sulcus, on alternating sides up the length of the culm. The nodes have tones bright red, pink, and pastel blue.  When new shoots are exposed to direct sunlight, the intense red coloration extends throughout the lower portion of the culms. A sunburn, one could say, though it is not damaging to the plant in any way. I'm not certain, but I suppose the red color actually protects the young culm from the harsh elements. It gradually fades to yellow, throughout the course of a season, as the culm hardens and becomes more resilient.
    It is capable of growing from two feet to 25 feet tall within 5 years, adding 3 to 5 feet of height gain annually. The rhizomes, usually found within the top four inches of loose soil, can travel very fast, up to ten feet from the parent plant, through the summer and fall. Fortunately, they can be trained to run a certain direction, wherever good soil and consistent irrigation is provided.  Their tendency to travel shallow makes them easy to locate and prune, effectively controlling the spread. See Care and Maintenance for details.
    Phyllostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis' should not be feared; use it carefully and take advantage of its tremendous vitality to create a fast growing sanctuary within the city. Replace the gaze of your neighbors windows or noisy streets with lush, feather-like leaves and the sound of tall grass swaying in the wind.  Birds nest in the dense branches; potential predators have difficulty ascending the smooth culms. A narrow wall of evergreen foliage will broadcast cool shade to its north side.
    'Spectabilis' is a member of the same species as Yellow Groove and Golden Crookstem,  sharing similar growth traits, most importantly vigorous, cold hardy, and upright. These three prime qualities, in addition to its unbelievable array of colors, solidify the status of 'Spectabilis' as one of the all-around finest plants available for temperate gardens.

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
Young culms in April/May have the most brilliant color.

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
New shoots in a five gallon pot, showing red blushing in the spring.

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
Even the braches are yellow with a green sulcus.

Noah Bell, Shweeash Bamboo
Sometimes the zigzag culms are synchronized
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