Family: Poaceae (Grass Family)
Duration and Habit: Perennial Grass/Grasslike
Perennial infestation-forming bamboos, 16 to 40 feet (5 to 12 m) in height, with jointed cane stems and bushy tops of lanceolate leaves in fan clusters on grasslike stems, often golden green. Plants arising from branched rhizomes. A bamboo plant consists of two parts: the aboveground jointed stem called a culm, and the underground jointed rhizome which bears true roots. Stems are divided into inflated internodes; budding takes place at nodes. Spikelets are solitary with 8 to 12 flowers, but are rarely seen.
Ecological Threat: Infestations of bamboo displace native vegetation, alter habitat, and upset food chains. For streams, bamboo leaf litter alters stream food webs starting with litter-feeding stream invertebrates. It is also known to attract roaches in urban areas.
Biology & Spread: Reproduces vegetatively via budding of root rhizomes and runners. Rarely flowers (for decades). Flowering usually signifies death of the plant. Bamboo, once established, is very aggressive in both its rate of growth as well as the sprouting of new stems. It rapidly spreads in all directions from the location of establishment. Can reach 30 feet in height.
History: Native to Asia. Introduced in Alabama in 1882 as an ornamental. Continues to be introduced as a fenceline buffer in residential and urban areas. Widely planted as ornamentals and for fishing poles.
U.S. Habitat: Thrives in full or partial sun and in moist, deep loamy soils. Often found as dense thickets along roadsides and residential right of ways. Also invades secondary forests, clearings, and forest edges.
U.S. Nativity: Introduced to U.S.
Native Origin: China, Japan (Alfred Rehder, Manual of Cultivated Trees and Shrubs: Hardy in North America, The MacMillan Co., New York (1967)); Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0., NatureServe Explorer
U.S. Present: AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MD, MS, NC, OR, SC, TN, VA
Distribution: Prominent in the Southeastern U.S. as far north as Maryland and west to Arkansas and Texas. Located on the West Coast as far north as Oregon. Found in the Lower Galveston Bay watershed, namely within the Houston urban area and residential communities.
List All Observations of Phyllostachys aurea reported by Citizen Scientists
For small infestations, regularly cut back the bamboo, which eventually kills rhizomes by exhausting stored energy. An enclosing barrier three feet deep prevents spread. Use foliar chemical treatment (2% solution of glyphosate) for larger infestations.USE PESTICIDES WISELY: ALWAYS READ THE ENTIRE PESTICIDE LABEL CAREFULLY, FOLLOW ALL MIXING AND APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND WEAR ALL RECOMMENDED PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND CLOTHING. CONTACT YOUR STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FOR ANY ADDITIONAL PESTICIDE USE REQUIREMENTS, RESTRICTIONS OR RECOMMENDATIONS. MENTION OF PESTICIDE PRODUCTS ON THIS WEB SITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ENDORSEMENT OF ANY MATERIAL.
The Quiet Invasion: A Guide to Invasive Plants of the Galveston Bay Area. Lisa Gonzalez and Jeff DallaRosa. Houston Advanced Research Center, 2006.
Swearingen, J., K. Reshetiloff, B. Slattery, and S. Zwicker. 2002. Plant Invaders of Mid-Atlantic Natural Areas. National Park Service and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 82 pp.
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