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Phyllostachys edulis 'Heterocycla' (Tortoise Shell Bamboo)

Tortoise Shell Bamboo, Running Bamboo


A sought-after selection, Phyllostachys edulis 'Heterocycla' (Tortoise Shell Bamboo) is a remarkable evergreen bamboo with internodes resembling that of a tortoise shell. Very tall and thick, up to 4 in. wide (10 cm), the culms display series of inclined and compressed internodes on the first several feet at the base of the plant. They grow straight with regular internodes for the remaining height of the plant. Gray at first, the culms mature to yellow-green, then almost orange-green. They are covered with a very fine, velvety hair when young. Quite small when compared to the stature of this bamboo, the elegant, paper-thin leaves are short and narrow, up to 4 in. (10 cm), pale green on their upper surface and matte green beneath. Vigorous, this runs freely in warm conditions, but remains almost static in cool temperate climates. This bamboo is extremely rare. Hardiness: 14 to -4ºF (-10 to -20ºC)

  • Grows up to 15-25 ft. tall (4-8 m) and 10-25 ft. wide (3-8 m).
  • A full sun or partial shade lover, it is best grown in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soils.
  • Susceptible to rust and stem smut. Keep an eye out for snugs and snails.
  • Remove weak, dead, damaged or spindly stems in spring and thin to show off stems to best effect. Cut out any flowering shoots promptly to discourage more from forming.
  • Propagate by seed or division.
  • Native to Caucasus, China, eastern Asia

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Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Plant Type Bamboos
Plant Family Bamboos
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 15' – 25' (4.5m – 7.5m)
Spread 10' – 25' (3m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Evergreen

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Haraldmucu, Stella Photo, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 7 – 10
Plant Type Bamboos
Plant Family Bamboos
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 15' – 25' (4.5m – 7.5m)
Spread 10' – 25' (3m – 7.5m)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Type Chalk, Loam
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Evergreen

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Bamboos

Guides with Bamboos

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