Pseudosasa japonica

2 Dec

Pseudosasa japonica (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pseudosasa japonica (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Summer (irregular)

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 5m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Poaceae

Pseudosasa japonica is a vigorous, robust, spreading, evergreen bamboo. Its shiny mid green leaves are lance shaped, up to 25cm long and 4cm broad. Its culms are upright, extremely straight, initially mid green, maturing to a straw colour. These will eventually arch with the weight of leaves. Its hermaphrodite flowers are brown/ green and are wind pollinated. The roots of this bamboo are rhizomes and may cause this plant to be invasive.

Pseudosasa japonica, commonly known as the Arrow Bamboo, Yadake or Metake is native to Japan and Korea. Pseudosasa japonica is synonymous with Arundinaria japonica.

The etymological root of the binomial name Pseudosasa is derived from the Greek pseudo meaning ‘false’ and Sasa another variety of bamboo. Japonica is derived from the Latin meaning ‘from Japan’.

The landscape architect may find Pseudosasa japonica useful as a hedging/ screening bamboo and makes an effective wind break. It may be clipped into a formal hedge shape. It may also be used as part of a woodland planting scheme. It is tolerant of maritime conditions.

Ecologically, Pseudosasa japonica is of little wildlife value in the UK.

Pseudosasa japonica Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pseudosasa japonica Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Pseudosasa japonica their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Pseudosasa japonica prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Pseudosasa japonica requires little maintenance. A root barrier may be installed at the time of planting to restrict the spread of this plant.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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