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Running Bamboo Pleioblastus fortunei

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Arundinaria variegata
Phonetic Spelling
plee-o-blast-uss for-TOO-nee-eye
Description

Dwarf whitestripe is an evergreen bamboo in the Poaceae (grass) family native to Japan.  It can grow quickly to a height of 2 to 3 feet and is often used as a groundcover.

While it tolerates up to 6 hours a day of full sun it prefers partial shade.  The leaves have an interesting white and green striped pattern and will maintain that variation through the summer if the plant receives shade.  Once established this plant is very drought tolerant.

It spreads aggressively by rhizomes that can travel quite a distance from the original clump to spread in the landscape.  While it has been used to manage erosion, especially in poor growing conditions, it often escapes cultivation and easily naturalizes displacing native plants.    It tolerates mowing well but if it needs to be managed mowing will not be sufficient.  Consider planting a clumping bamboo instead as they do not spread aggressively with rhizomes. If you do use this plant it should be kept in a container or in an area surrounded by concrete and buildings.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  It is an aggressive plant, native alternatives and less aggressive plants should be considered.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#white leaves#bright green#weedy#showy leaves#variegated leaves#ornamental grass#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#striped leaves#partial shade tolerant#dense growth#culms#running
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#full sun tolerant#drought tolerant#white flowers#white leaves#bright green#weedy#showy leaves#variegated leaves#ornamental grass#high maintenance#fast growing#aggressive#striped leaves#partial shade tolerant#dense growth#culms#running
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pleioblastus
    Species:
    fortunei
    Family:
    Poaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Central & S. Japan
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Range of soil types; drought tolerant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Ground Cover
    Ornamental Grasses and Sedges
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Erect
    Spreading
    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 Drainage:
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Caryopsis
  • Flowers:
    Flower Description:
    Rarely flowers
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    New leaves are white with bright green stripes. 4-7 inches long and 3/4 inch wide with a pointed tip
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    Culums zig-zag
  • Landscape:
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Weedy