Monday, February 6, 2012

Invasive Running Bamboo

Running bamboo and clumping bamboo are the two types of bamboo commonly sold and planted in the United States. Bamboos rarely produce fertile seed here, but they have still managed to become an invasive problem. The genus Phyllostachys, a running bamboo, has nine species that have been reported invasive at some time. Infestations of golden bamboo (P. aurea) and yellow groove bamboo (P.  aureosulcata) are reported  most often, with Japanese timber bamboo (P. bambusoides) and black bamboo (P. nigra) infestations reported less often. The running bamboos get their name from the fact that they spread via underground rhizomes and some species spread incredibly quickly. They can be difficult and costly to control. In some areas they have been listed as a noxious weed.