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Giant Cane Arundinaria gigantea

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
ar-run-din-NAY-ree-a jy-GAN-tee-uh
Description

Giant cane is a native bamboo in the Poaceae (grass) family found in swampy areas and floodplains of the central and southeastern U.S.A.  While it may grow up to 25 feet tall it is usually between 8 and 20 feet.

Plant in full sun to deep shade though it does best in partial to full shade. in moist, to wet, rich loamy oil.  Giant cane has tall thin green stems and vigorous rhizomes that grow quickly into dense clumps. The leaves are alternate with an extremely toothed margin and hairy top side. Flowers are inconspicuous and rare but appear in the spring and flowering stems die back when the seeds are mature in the summer.  

This native plant provides cover and food for wildlife like birds, as well as being a larval host plant for butterflies.  Plant it in riparian or other wet sites in the landscape.

Fire Risk: This plant has an extreme flammability rating and should not be planted within the defensible space of your home.  Select plants with a low flammability rating for the sites nearest your home. 

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#wildlife plant#cover plant#riparian#ornamental grass#seeds#stream banks#food source wildlife#fire extreme flammability#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#native ornamental grass#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#Audubon#various skipper butterflies#southern pearly-eye butterfly#creole pearly-eye butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#wildlife plant#cover plant#riparian#ornamental grass#seeds#stream banks#food source wildlife#fire extreme flammability#NC native#native garden#pollinator plant#native ornamental grass#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#Coastal FACW#Piedmont Mountains FACW#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#food source hard mast fruit#butterfly friendly#Audubon#various skipper butterflies#southern pearly-eye butterfly#creole pearly-eye butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Arundinaria
    Species:
    gigantea
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Canes are used for basketry, fishing poles, musical instruments, and home construction.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    E. Central & SE. U.S.A.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    extreme flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Provides excellent cover year-round. Seeds are eaten by songbirds and small mammals. This is a larval host plant for the Southern Pearly-Eye (Enodia portlandia) which has three broods from March-October, Creole Pearly-Eye (Lethe creola) which has three broods in the south from April-September, and various Skipper larvae.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    High deer resistance
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Insignificant
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Description:
    Inconspicuous and rare. They bloom from April to July.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Alternate with an extremely toothed margin and hairy top side
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Water Garden
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil