Golden Bamboo, Fish Pole Bamboo
Golden Bamboo is one of the better behaved Phyllostachys, though it still requires root barrier if planted in the ground. It’s a popular choice for those looking for a bamboo with a more subtle colour effect.
Phyllostachys aurea produces olive green canes which mature to a golden yellow, particularly in full sun. The leaves are delicate and pleasantly pale green in colour. It is a pachymorph (thick rhizome) bamboo, that produces sturdy culms which are grooved on alternative sides between the nodes.
Native to China and Vietnam, Phyllostachys aurea is notable for its ornamental, attractively clustered nodes (rings) at the base of the canes, where most bamboo have equidistant spacing of nodes. This makes them popular for creating walking stick and umbrella handles and fishing rods.
As well as ornamental use, Golden Bamboo is one of the most frequently eaten bamboos in China and is said to be the sweetest of its genus. The new canes are harvested in spring by cutting from below ground level (similar to harvesting asparagus!) and are both cooked and eaten raw.
In the garden it’s ideal for creating screening, and works wonderfully as hedge planting since it is quite tolerant of wind and responds well to pruning. This also means it can be clipped into a more formal shape than most bamboo very successfully.
Care & Size Guidance
Despite being a pachymorph, once established it will begin to run vigorously and as such it requires root barrier if planted in the ground.
Although it’s known as Golden Bamboo, the leaves of Phyllostachys aurea will only turn golden if grown in full sun in nutrient poor soil.
This bamboo produces underground rhizomes which aid its spreading, meaning it requires the installation of root barrier to prevent it from becoming invasive.