Tonkin Bamboo, Arundinaria amabilis
Also known as Tea Stake bamboo in China,
Arundinaria amabilis is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 6 m (19ft 8in).
CULTIVATION AND MANAGEMENT
Prefers an open loam of fair quality and a position sheltered from cold drying winds. Succeeds on peaty soils. Requires abundant moisture and plenty of organic matter in the soil. Moderately cold resistant, it has withstood several degrees of frost in S. England, but can be badly damaged in cold winters. Plants are said to tolerate temperatures down to about -10°c. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus. Plants only flower at intervals of many years. When they do come into flower most of the plants energies are directed into producing seed and consequently the plant is severely weakened. They sometimes die after flowering, but if left alone they will usually recover though they will look very poorly for a few years. If fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time the plants are more likely to die. Cultivated for its canes in China, this species was the most commonly used species on the world market in the early part of the 20th century until war halted supplies.
Seed - if possible, surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20°c. Stored seed is best sown as soon as it is obtained. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination usually takes place fairly quickly so long as the seed is of good quality, though it can take 3 - 6 months. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out, which might take a few years. Plants only flower at intervals of several years and so seed is rarely available. Division in spring as new growth commences. Take divisions with at least three canes in the clump, trying to cause as little root disturbance to the main plant as possible. Grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse in pots of a high fertility sandy medium. Mist the foliage regularly until plants are established. Plant them out into their permanent positions when a good root system has developed, which can take a year or more.
Uses and Application
Due to its thick wall and straight cane property, these bamboo have been popolar as fishing poles. They are also excllent bamboo fence material due to the knot and relatively straight, they made good privacy fence.
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