Other Common Names: Kurochiku
Clumping or Running
Maximum Height: 55 feet. (Most top out at 30 feet!)
Maximum diameter: 3 ¼ inches (One inch is common)
Zone: 7-10 (Tolerant to 5 degrees Fahrenheit).
Light Requirements: Prefers mostly sunny environments. (But, not intense sun-think Pacific Northwest).
What is Black Bamboo?
Black bamboo gets its name from the jet-black culms that develop over a series of months. The black stalks contrasted by the bright green leaves make this bamboo especially treasured in ornamental gardens. In fact, it is one of the highest sought after bamboo plants in the United States, Europe and Asia. As part of the family Phyllostachys (some of the more popular species in North America) black bamboo is naturally a running variety which grows quickly and spreads easily. Because of this, it is possible that you may want to use a control barrier with it!
When black bamboo sprouts the shoots have a unique and distinct wavy quality to them.
Fun Fact: Midseason shoots from Phyllostachys nigra are also edible when they first sprout!
The new stalks formed from these shoots are a lively (and ordinary) green color. Over the next 6 months to 3 years the bamboo stalks change from this green to jet-black.
Limitations And Uses:
Although beautiful and exquisite black bamboo has a tendency to arch and is easily weighted down by foliage and rain. While this gives the bamboo character and makes it beautiful, it can cause limitations as far as how the bamboo can be used in ornamental gardening. Although not preferred for projects requiring straight poles, black bamboo can be pruned back or topped to eliminate some of the weight that makes it bend. This is considered a crime to many black bamboo enthusiasts, but it does work.
Tip: Black bamboo is great for craft and furniture making projects. Black bamboo is a thin wood, but it’s hard. Plus, the color of the culms will stay the same even after the bamboo is dry.
Interested in buying your own Black Bamboo plant? Check out our Bamboo Plants For Sale page to learn how to pick out healthy plants and where to buy them!