Oregon LCB#8491 • 489 NW Creswell Lane, Albany, Oregon • 541-223-8555
Bamboo Grower and Landscape Contractor

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     Phyllostachys atrovaginata

              (Incense Bamboo)
     Phyllostachys aurea
             
(Fish Pole or Golden Bamboo)
     Phyllostachys aureosulcata
              ‘Spectabilis’

     Phyllostachys bambusoides
             
(Japanese Timber Bamboo)
     Phyllostachys bambusoides
              ‘Castillon’

     Phyllostachys dulcis
              
(Sweetshoot Bamboo)
     Phyllostachys edulis
              
(Moso)
     Phyllostachys heteroclada
              
(Water Bamboo)
     Phyllostachys nigra
              
(Black Bamboo)
     Phyllostachys nigra ‘Bory’
              
(Tiger Bamboo)
     Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henon’
     Phyllostachys vivax
             
(Chinese Timber Bamboo)
     Qiongzhuea tumidissinoda
             
(Chinese Walking Stick Bamboo)

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     Fargesia robusta

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         Phyllostachys edulis


A Moso play structure at Bamboo Valley, with a sleeping baby atop under the umbrellas.

Other names:  "Moso", Moso-chiku (孟宗竹), Phyllostachys pubescens, P. heterocycla 'Pubescens', P. mitis

Statistics:  Height:  40-65+ feet   Diameter:  2-7 inches

Moso's culms are green, turning to yellow in constant sunlight.  They are also rigid, fuzzy when young, and have thick walls, especially below the branching nodes.  The leaves are tiny in proportion to the plant's overall size giving Moso a very delicate feathery appearance.  The shoots are usually the first of the large Phyllostachys bamboos to emerge in the spring during February through March.  They are large, hairy, and delicious.  They are widely imported from China and are likely the ones you are eating at your local Chinese restaurant.  For years Moso has had a stigma attached to it because it was believed not to grow well here in Western Oregon.  The truth is, at least at Bamboo Valley, that Moso grows at least as fast as Vivax.  You simply have to water it enough.

Moso has been so widely used for construction and in so many different locales that over the years taxonomists have given it at least four different scientific names.  This has made great confusion for layman and professional alike.  Now we usually use the simplest and shortest of the names—Moso.  No other bamboo but Moso is deserving of this kind of attention. It is the king of all temperate bamboos and is unparalleled in sheer size and strength.

The uses for Moso—because of its size and strength—are practically unlimited.  Many of the popular processed bamboo products are made from Moso.  Asia has never been able to satisfy its need for Moso culms as fishing net floats, scaffolding, and paper have all traditionally been made from it.  Now Moso is also used for laminate wood products including flooring, and Moso-rayon fiber textiles.  Moso is that giant bamboo in the forests featured in movies such as "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "House of Flying Daggers."  It has been cultivated for centuries in Asia, but in North America only for the last 100 years or so.  Hopefully we'll see more farmers growing Moso this side of the Pacific in the near future.


Moso at Bamboo Valley.

Along a path inside a bamboo forest in Japan.

A maintained Moso forest has no dead culms lying around at odd angles.

The furriness of young Moso culms and shoots.

Big Moso culms about 5 inches in diameter.
 

Gratuitous large culms, c/o a parking lot in  Yokohama, Japan!

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Last Modified on 01/28/2015