Smooth green bamboo culms and a shoot - Phyllostachys bambusoides Slender Crookstem

Phyllostachys Bambusoides ‘Slender Crookstem’

This is an expensive bamboo because of its quality wood! Grow them in your garden and enjoy the benefits all year long.

Quick Facts

  • Common name: Slender Crookstem
  • Botanical name: Phyllostachys Bambusoides 
  • Type: Running 
  • Average height: 50 feet (15 m)
  • Average diameter: 5 inches (12 cm)
  • Hardiness: 0ºF (-17ºC)
  • USDA zones: 7 to 10
  • UK Hardiness Zones: H6-H2
  • Light requirements: Sun to shade
  • Best use: Construction, crafts, woodworking, ornamental, edible shoots, great landscape, mass planting, container
USDA Zones 7-10 highlighted in green on a USA map
USDA Zones 7-10

Slender Crookstem is native to China. It was first introduced to the US in 1924. It belongs to the Poaceae family. This unique bamboo is a variation of the legendary Japanese Timber bamboo. It is thinner and also has a curved form in lower culms which is like the Yellow Groove bamboo.

Slender Crookstem is the tallest growing bamboo in northern California. They reach a height of around 50 feet (15 m) with a diameter of 5 inches (12 cm). To reach this size, the minimum space should be 15ft x 15ft (4 m x 4 m). 

Culms that gave the name to this bamboo species

The name Slender Crookstem came from the look itself. It has this slight crooked or bent stem in the lower section of the culms. It makes them stand out from other species. Thinking about the size and strength, it is quite impressive that the lower part evolved like this. The great news is that it has the toughest canes of all. The culms usually present a twist of internodes. That looks like 90% straight and 10% zigzag. Amazing isn’t it? 

There is also some white powder that can hide the green color as it matures. The narrow stems of Slender Crookstem are said to be the most suitable poles for reaping pecans.

You will admire these attractive sheaths of green and reddish blush combination.

Dense leaves

This bamboo is good for privacy fencing because of the density. The evergreen leaves are generally lance-shaped, shiny, and deep green. It grows up to 8 inches (20 cm) long. Do not prune its lower parts to get the thickest outcome because its leaves can grow close to the ground. 

Birds particularly songbirds and other wildlife are attracted to its medium to dark green colored leaves. The leaves are darker in warmer areas and lighter in colder areas. 


You can enjoy the very tasty shoots in some recipes. 

Growing tips

If you want to get the best results, it should be placed in warmer places. They won’t grow to its maximum size in colder regions. It loves full sun and won’t reach its max. height in shade.

This species is also good for container gardening. You may need to prune it regularly if you intend to display it indoors as it grows so high. To achieve the “open grove” display, it is advisable to cut down the shorter canes and some fresh shoots, then prune the branches in the lower parts on the bigger canes.

The best soil types are sandy and loamy, or silt well-drained ground. The pH ranges from 4.5 to 7.5. They are spreading vigorously by their underground rhizomes. So, make sure to install a barrier.

This species is resistant to heat but loves plenty of water. You should water it a lot especially in the first year in order to bring it to its tall height.

Woman (Natalie) and man (James) in front of bamboo
About the Author: Natalie Schneider

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