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Phyllostachys aurea is often confused with:
Shibataea kumasasa Form
Native alternative(s) for Phyllostachys aurea:
Arundinaria gigantea Form
Ilex vomitoria Ilex vomitoria
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Elaeagnus pungens Eleagnus pungens
Toxicodendron radicans Toxicodendron radicans
Elaeagnus umbellata Elaeagnus umbellata berries

Golden Bamboo Phyllostachys aurea

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Golden Bamboo:

Previously known as:

  • Phyllostachys breviligula
  • Phyllostachys formosana
Phonetic Spelling
fy-lo-STAK-iss AW-re-uh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

One of the most popular bamboo plants in the United States. It can reach heights of 30 feet but more typically it is in the 10-20 foot range.  It can spread aggressively so plant it carefully and keep it contained.  Planting between hardscape elements helps with this so it makes an excellent screening or privacy hedge for a driveway or walkway planting.

Short swollen internodes at the base of the culms are a characteristic used to distinguish Golden bamboo from other bamboos. Most canes will have uniformly spaced sections (internodes) as the swollen internode trait only occurs on some canes.  Culms (stems) are light green with a white node ring, turning more yellow if exposed to direct sun. Flowers and seeds are rarely produced.

This plant spreads aggressively by rhizomes and has escaped gardens. It is listed as invasive in several states in the USA and several countries in the world.

Please consider planting native plants instead.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Clump forming bamboo
  • Stems flattened on one side
  • Glaucous ring below each node
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dr. Don'
    Young canes are bright blue
  • 'Flavescens Inversa'
    Green canes gold stripes
  • 'Holochrysa'
    Gold canes
  • 'Koi'
    Gold cane green stripe
'Dr. Don', 'Flavescens Inversa', 'Holochrysa', 'Koi'
Tags:
#weed#weedy#bamboo#high maintenance#upright#fast growing#fantz#rigid#driveway#aggresive#perennial weed#walkway planting#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Dr. Don'
    Young canes are bright blue
  • 'Flavescens Inversa'
    Green canes gold stripes
  • 'Holochrysa'
    Gold canes
  • 'Koi'
    Gold cane green stripe
'Dr. Don', 'Flavescens Inversa', 'Holochrysa', 'Koi'
Tags:
#weed#weedy#bamboo#high maintenance#upright#fast growing#fantz#rigid#driveway#aggresive#perennial weed#walkway planting#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Phyllostachys
    Species:
    aurea
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Canes used in flooring, making fishing poles, ski poles, javelins, umbrella and fan handles and furniture.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China to Vietnam
    Edibility:
    Young shoots are edible
    Dimensions:
    Height: 15 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 12 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Perennial
    Weed
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    High
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Rarely flowers. Grass-like blooms if it does.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Papery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lanceolate leaves are 3-7" long and 2" wide and are hairy at the bases. Leaves have a blade and petiole fused to the stem forming a sheath.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Green culms turn yellow in the sun as they mature and have a white node ring. Some canes have swollen internodes bunched up together at the bottom. Stems are flattened on one side and have a glaucous ring below every node.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Pool/Hardscape
    Walkways
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Drought
    Pollution
    Problems:
    Invasive Species
    Weedy