Shibataea kumasaca

29 Dec

Shibataea kumasaca (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Shibataea kumasaca (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to shade

Flowering period: N/A

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 1m

Eventual Spread: 1m

Hardiness: 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Poaceae

Shibataea kumasaca is an evergreen low growing bamboo. Its mid green leaves are lance shaped, up to 10cm long and 3cm broad. Its culms are up to 4mm in diameter. Its roots are rhizomes.

Shibataea kumasaca, commonly known as Ruscus Bamboo, Ruscus Leaved Bamboo or Okame Zasa, is native to south east China. In its native habitat it grows on mountain slopes. Shibataea kumasaca is synonymous with Bambusa shibataea ‘Kumasaca’. It was introduced to UK from Japan in 1861.

The etymological root of the binomial name Shibataea is named after the Japanese botanist Keita Shibata (1878 – 1949). Kumasaca may be from the Japanese kuma-zasa meaning ‘bordered small bamboo’, which is a common name for Sasa veitchii.

Shibataea kumasaca Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Shibataea kumasaca Leaf (18/11/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find Shibataea kumasaca useful as an effective low growing, evergreen ground cover bamboo, particularly useful on banks. It may also be clipped into a low growing hedge.

Ecologically, Shibataea kumasaca is of little value to UK wildlife.

Shibataea kumasaca prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It prefers a neutral to acid pH of soil. It will not tolerate waterlogged soils.

Shibataea kumasaca requires little maintenance. Large clumps may be divided in spring.

Davis Landscape Architecture


2 Responses to “Shibataea kumasaca”

  1. David H. 01/01/2013 at 17:01 #

    According to it may be from Japanese kuma-zasa, ‘bordered small bamboo’ which is a name for Sasa veitchii.

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