Phyllostachys heteroclada - Green bamboo stems with knobby nodes

Phyllostachys Heteroclada Solid Stem

Need a solid building material? Solid stem bamboo carries its name as one of the strongest wood for your construction purposes.

Quick Facts

  • Common name: Solid Stem, Water Bamboo, Phyllostachys Purpurata
  • Botanical name: Phyllostachys Heteroclada
  • Type: Running
  • Average height: 25 feet (7.6 m)
  • Average diameter: 2 inches (5 cm)
  • Hardiness: -10°F (-23°C)
  • USDA zones: 6 to 10
  • Light requirements: Full sun to half sun
  • Best use: Wet soggy soil, woodwork and crafts, decorative, building material, erosion control, open grove
USDA Zones 6-10 marked in green on a USA map
USDA Zones 6-10

What are the characteristics of solid stem bamboo?

Phyllostachys Heteroclada Solid Stem is also called Phyllostachys Purpurata from Poaceae family. Heteroclada came from the Greek words “eteros” which means different and “klados” which means branch. Solid stem bamboo is a rare type of bamboo that can handle standing water. The lower part of its canes is solid. It grows well in any wet situations.

Its rhizomes have unique air channels that let them bear any wet or flooded areas which are not tolerated by other varieties. You can check this out by cutting through its rhizomes then look at the cross-section. You will see the yellow-tan rhizome skin. Then below you will see holes. The inner core seems short and yellow.

It has light green culm sheaths with dusty white edges which make it an attractive ornament.

The tough, flexible, and solid culms can withstand splitting which makes it a reliable construction material. Once matured, the canes will turn their color into a dark gray-green. It grows upright and high. It is so hardy that it can withstand up to -10°F (-23°C).

The leaves are light green. It is narrow and triangular in shape. It may seem like a boat and straight up. This bamboo also tends to flower more often.

This runner extends from 15ft (4.6 m) to 20ft (6 m).

Learn how to stop your bamboo from spreading here!

No need to worry about skipping the watering routine. This bamboo can survive drought and even flood. But once you notice some curly leaves, try to revive it and water them from time to time. They don’t need your 100% attention in watering needs.

How to take care of solid stem bamboo?

Solid stem bamboo needs a soil pH of 4.5 to 7.5. It can use sandy loam or clay loam soil. They may need extra phosphorus to stimulate excellent root growth. They tend to have shiny and vibrant leaves with full sun.

What are the benefits of solid stem bamboo?

This type of bamboo is recommended for screens, wind protection, and groves because of its strength. It makes a great barrier because it grows quickly and can tolerate extreme winds. It is not suitable for container growing. This bamboo grows so high that it is not recommended inside the house. Erosion can be prevented if you grow solid stem bamboo outdoors.

If you are patient enough to harvest these small shoots, then, by all means, try some healthy bamboo shoots recipes. Don’t worry. The shoots are not bitter.

The poles are suitable for construction. They will not fall or break at joints. You can also find specialty markets to buy these bamboo poles.

How to manage solid stem bamboo?

Solid stem bamboo invasion can be blocked by simply mowing the ground or stepping on fresh shoots. Brand new shoots are so delicate that they are so easy to eliminate. A bamboo barrier is also a good way to prevent further growth.

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Woman (Natalie) and man (James) in front of bamboo

We are James and Natalie – newly-weds & nature lovers!

We want to give you the best information possible on bamboo. Get inspired to grow bamboo or to switch to natural bamboo products!