Phyllostachys Viridis - Yellow stems with random green stripes

Phyllostachys Viridis

This will not just be an ordinary privacy hedge. You can easily hide behind it, even with taller buildings around your property. It is one sought-after ornamental decoration plant.

Quick Facts

  • Common name: Pigskin Bamboo, Robert Young, Houzeau
  • Botanical name: Phyllostachys Viridis
  • Type: Running
  • Average height: 30-35 ft (9-10.6 m), max. 40 ft (12 m)
  • Average diameter: 3 in (7.6 cm)
  • Hardiness: 0ºF (-17ºC)
  • USDA zones: 7-10
  • UK Hardiness Zones: H6-H2
  • Light requirements: Full sun to shady areas
  • Best use: Privacy screen, edible shoots, wood construction, craft material, decorative, open grove, soil control, clay soil
USDA Zones 7-10 highlighted in green on a map
USDA Zones 7-10

What are the two varieties of Phyllostachys Viridis?

Yes, there are two varieties that differ in color.

Phyllostachys viridis ‘Robert Young’

Who is Robert A. Young? He is a known horticulturist who published several articles about bamboo. 

Fresh culms are green with interesting dark brown spotted culm sheaths. These culms will become yellow along with some irregular dark green lines. These dark sheaths on the fresh shoots stand in contrast to those yellow culms. The yellow parts become pale as it matures.

It is a highly desired ornamental bamboo species.

Phyllostachys Viridis ‘Houzeau’

Houzeau has basically reverse colors compared to Robert Young. The culms stay green and you will find random yellow stripes. This variety can reach as high as 45 feet (14 m) with a diameter of 4 inches (10 cm).

This one is rarer than the Robert Young variety.

What are the characteristics of Phyllostachys Viridis?

It is called Pigskin because you will feel like the skin of a pig with some indentations. The culms are a bit rough. 

These bamboos came from China and Japan. Phyllostachys Viridis bamboos are mostly considered ornamental because of their stunning looks.

The evergreen leaves are light green and have an upward position. There are no sheath auricles and oral setae. The blades are usually around 3 to 5 inches long and somewhat hairy on one side. 

This is also a fast-growing bamboo that creates large canes in just a few years especially in warm areas. 

It spreads aggressively because it’s running bamboo.

The high quality of this wood is also what makes it a favorite among some growers. They can grow it on the ground or in containers. 

Yes, you read it right. You can still grow it in containers even though it gets very tall and spreads.

If you want a plastic barrier or container, make sure it is very thick. 60 – 80 mil Polypropylene plastic is recommended. Thinner materials are most likely destroyed because of its vigorous growth. Make sure not to plant it too narrowly. 

Most people prefer this as privacy fences because it can block large or tall houses or constructions.

Speaking of constructions, this species is known to be a reliable timber for building houses and the like. 

Are the shoots edible?

Indeed. They are oh so yummy! Expect these young shoots to come out in spring. Try some recipes and you’ll love it. It doesn’t have a bitter taste and it smells good when raw or cooked. 

How to care for Phyllostachys Viridis bamboos?

Warm places are their favorite. They look at their best in this sunny weather. That is why they love full sun with lots of water and moisture. Make sure that there is good drainage especially for container grown bamboos to prevent stagnant water.

It can tolerate hot weather and drought but you should water it from time to time.

There are no observed damages from winter, windy situations, or even from single-digit temperatures. 

Phyllostachys Viridis is one of the few species that tolerates clay soil.

Propagate this bamboo by dividing rhizomes or tubers. 

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

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