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Bamboo Species Source List

Complete Bamboo Species Source ListIncludes Bamboo Species List, Plants and Available Bamboo Products.


We recently moved the bamboo database servers.
Please use the pages at BambooWeb until we get the information back up here.


Since 1981 the American Bamboo Society (ABS) has compiled an annual Source List of bamboo plants and products. The List includes more than 490 kinds (species, subspecies, varieties, and cultivars) of bamboo available in the US and Canada, and many bamboo-related products.

The ABS produces the Source List as a public service. It is published on the ABS Web site. Paper copies are sent to all ABS members and can also be ordered from ABS for $5.00 postpaid. Some ABS chapters and listed vendors also sell the Source List. Please refer to the ordering information.

The vendor sources for plants, products, and services are complied annually from information supplied by the vendors. We have tried to record all information accurately, but some error is inevitable and information may change during the life of the Source List. If you find errors, please report them to the Source List editors (). No guarantee is offered for the reliability of individual vendors, but if you feel that a listed vendor has not provided good service, you may report your concerns to the editors.

On-Line Source List Sponsors: Bamboo Gardener Tropical Bamboo

Species Table

The Species Table lists bamboos in alphabetical order by botanical name. The botanical name for a species is a binomial comprised of the genus and the specific member of that genus. For example, the botanical name Phyllostachys aurea, is comprised of the genus, Phyllostachys, and a specific member of that genus, aurea. Common names are listed beneath the botanical names. For example, Phyllostachys aurea is sometimes called Golden Bamboo or Fishpole Bamboo.

A species may also have recognized variations. In descending order of significance, they are subspecies, variety, and forma. Plants of cultivated origin with recognized variation may be listed as cultivars and are also included. Since issue No. 23, the Source List has rationalized the names below species level. Cultivar names are used instead of botanical forma names, as they have almost identical rank and are more appropriate for cultivated, rather than wild plants. Only subspecies, variety, or cultivar names have been used in this list.

Several existing cultivar names are not fully in accord with requirements for naming cultivars. In the interests of nomenclature stability, conflicts such as these are overlooked to allow continued use of familiar names rather than the creation of new ones. The Source List editors reserve the right to continue recognizing widely used names that may not be fully in accord with the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP) and to recognize identical cultivar names in different species of the same genus as long as the species is stated.

Many new bamboo cultivars still require naming, description, and formal publication. Growers with new cultivars should consider publishing articles in the ABS magazine, “Bamboo”. Among other requirements, keep in mind that new cultivars must satisfy three criteria: distinctiveness, uniformity, and stability. Additional information is available from the International Society for Horticultural Science in the document, “How to name a new cultivar”. The document is available on the Web at:

Numeric Limitations

The species table includes numerics for maximum height, maximum diameter, minimum temperature, and sunlight requirements. These numerics are not absolutes, but are intended to afford a quick, rough, relative comparison among bamboos. They are not a substitute for a deeper understanding of the cultural requirements and performance of each bamboo in the context of the cultural conditions in which it will be grown.

Maximum height and diameter: The figures cited for maximum height and diameter are only achievable in optimal growing conditions in a large grove, clump, or forest that has been established for as long as a decade or more. Bamboo grown in a pot, a small garden plot, or in less than ideal conditions will likely be substantially smaller than the stated maximums. On the other hand, the stated maximums are not intended to indicate world records, but an approximate of the largest culms of mature plants grown in favorable conditions.

Minimum temperature: The minimum temperature is the point at which leaf damage begins to appear after a short exposure to the temperature. Culm and rhizome death generally occur at much lower temperatures. However, many variable conditions affect minimum temperature tolerance, including wind, humidity, soil moisture, snow cover, plant maturity, plant health, protection by structures, trees, and other plants, and duration and frequency of low temperatures. A plant may tolerate the minimum temperature for a night or two, but may not tolerate weeks at a temperature five degrees warmer. Drying winds and the absence of snow cover might kill an immature plant outright, whereas a sheltered more established plant might be entirely unscathed. The cold hardiness of a new introduction is only a best estimate, and revisions are made as more information becomes available. Minimum temperatures in the table are only relative approximations. The Source List editors and the ABS are not responsible for any damage or loss arising from the data provided.

Sunlight: Sunlight requirements are listed on a scale from 1 to 5. A rating of 1 indicates full shade and a 5 indicates full sun. Ratings 2 through 4 are intermediate progressions along the scale. Most bamboos can grow successfully in a broad range of conditions, though the greatest vigor will occur in a narrower range. The numeric ratings for sunlight are only relative approximations. For example, a Phyllostachys that generally thrives in full sun in the Northeast may prefer some shading in the intense arid summers of the Southwest. Conversely, a Sasa that generally requires mostly shady conditions in the Southeast may thrive in full sun in the coastal Pacific Northwest. Keep in mind that other conditions are also significant factors. For example, even if a Fargesia is provided with ideal semi-shaded conditions, it may not thrive if air temperature and soil are too hot.

Plant sources: The “Sources” column contains a link to the vendors of each plant. The search page to find sources based on location is at: Sources Some of the sources in foreign countries carry plants, but cannot legally ship them to the United States.

Products and services: The search page to find sources of bamboo products is at: Products

Descriptions for some vendors may indicate ‘Visits by appointment.’ Many growers and product and service providers are part-time or small business operations without a store or sales staff. If you arrive without an appointment, you may find no one available. To make an appointment, phone or e-mail the vendor in advance. Many vendors also offer plants or products for ordering by mail, phone, or the Internet. “Wholesale only” vendors serve only retailers or landscapers and do not offer retail service.

Searching the Source List

Starting in 2010 the search capabilities from BambooWeb has been incorporated into the ABS website. It makes it easy to search for combinations of characteristics (height, diameter, sun tolerance, clumping or running and minimum temperature). You can also search for sources and products.


The following are synonyms that often cause confusion. The former name may be entirely incorrect in the case of misidentification; it may have been in an inappropriate genus; or it may be a name that was not in accord with requirements for taxonomic nomenclature.

Table of synonyms and corrected names

Common names

Garden books, gardeners, and landscapers frequently refer to bamboos by common names. To help you find corresponding botanical names, the following list includes some of the common names in use in the United States and their botanical equivalents. For additional common names in a variety of languages see:

Japanese names

  Botanical name
Hachiku Phyllostachys nigra ‘Henon’
Hoteichiku Phyllostachys aurea
Kikkochiku Phyllostachys edulis ‘Heterocycla’
Kumazasa Sasa veitchii (not Shibataea kumasaca)
Kurochiku Phyllostachys nigra
Madake Phyllostachys bambusoides
Medake Pleioblastus simonii
Moso Phyllostachys edulis
Narihira Semiarundinaria fastuosa
Okame-zasa Shibataea kumasaca
Yadake Pseudosasa japonica

Chinese names

  Botanical name
Cha Gang zhu Pseudosasa amabilis
Che Tong zhu Bambusa sinospinosa
Fang zhu Chimonobambusa quadrangularis
Fo du zhu Bambusa ventricosa
Gui zhu Phyllostachys bambusoides
Han zhu Chimonobambusa marmorea
Hong Bian zhu Phyllostachys rubromarginata
Hou zhu Phyllostachys nidularia
Hui Xiang zhu Chimonocalamus pallens
Jin zhu Phyllostachys sulphurea
Ma zhu Dendrocalamus latiflorus
Mao zhu Phyllostachys edulis
Qiong zhu Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda
Ren Mian zhu Phyllostachys aurea
Shui zhu Phyllostachys heteroclada
Wu Ya zhu Phyllostachys atrovaginata
Xiang Nuo zhu Cephalostachyum pergracile
Zi zhu Phyllostachys nigra

English names

  Botanical name
Arrow Pseudosasa japonica
Beechey Bambusa beecheyana
Blue Himalayacalamus hookerianus
Black Phyllostachys nigra
Buddha‘s Belly Bambusa ventricosa
Candy Stripe or Candy cane Himalayacalamus falconeri ‘Damarapa’
Canebrake Arundinaria gigantea
Chinese Goddess Bambusa multiplex ‘Riviereorum’
Chinese Thorny Bambusa sinospinosa
Common Bambusa vulgaris
Dwarf Fern Leaf Pleioblastus distichus
Dwarf Whitestripe Pleioblastus fortunei
Fernleaf Bambusa multiplex ‘Fernleaf’
Fountain Fargesia nitida
Giant Thorny Bambusa bambos
Giant Timber Bambusa oldhamii
Green Mountain Yushania alpina
Golden Phyllostachys aurea
Golden Golden Phyllostachys aurea ‘Holochrysa’
“Heavenly Bamboo” not a bamboo (Nandina domestica)
Hedge Bambusa multiplex
Himalayan Blue Himalayacalamus hookerianus
Horsehoof Bambusa lapidea
Iron Range Neololeba atra
Japanese Timber Phyllostachys bambusoides
"Lucky Bamboo" not a bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
Male Dendrocalamus strictus
Marbled Chimonobambusa marmorea
Mexican Weeping Otatea acuminata subsp. aztecorum
Monastery Thyrsostachys siamensis
Oldham’s Bambusa oldhamii
Painted Bambusa vulgaris ‘Vittata’
Punting Pole Bambusa tuldoides
River Cane Arundinaria gigantea
Square Chimonobambusa quadrangularis
Stone Phyllostachys angusta & P. nuda
Sweetshoot Phyllostachys dulcis
Switch Cane Arundinaria tecta
Tea Stick Pseudosasa amabilis
Temple Semiarundinaria fastuosa
Timor Black Bambusa lako
Tonkin Cane Pseudosasa amabilis
Tortoise Shell Phyllostachys edulis ‘Heterocycla’
Tropical Black Gigantochloa atroviolacea
Umbrella Fargesia murieliae
Water Phyllostachys heteroclada
Weaver’s Bambusa textilis
Wine Oxytenanthera braunii
Yellow Groove Phyllostachys aureosulcata

Credits for assistance

Very special thanks to Chris Stapleton. Dr. Stapleton is a renowned bamboo taxonomist and foremost expert on Old World montane bamboos. Dr. Stapleton brings a level of technical rigor to the Species List that would not otherwise be possible. We are greatly indebted to Dr. Stapleton for his assistance.

Bill Hollenback, Lead Source List Editor, has devoted countless hours to the Source List’s compilation, including online input design and implementation, database management, and the endless details of list compilation. Bill also maintains the online Source List and photographic database at Our special thanks to Bill for his instrumental efforts in making these important resources available to us.

Many other ABS members have contributed significantly to the Source List. Without the volunteer help of our members, this valuable resource would not be possible. Our thanks and appreciation to all who have contributed.

And finally, we also thank all those who have made suggestions for adjustments to the species listings and improvements to the Source List. Now is the time to submit your changes or suggestions for next year.

Ordering reprints

Copies of this list are available from some of the listed vendors, from some chapter offices, and from:

ABS Species/Source List
c/o Bill Hollenback
24714 S Carman Rd
Cheney, WA 99004

To order, please send $5.00 for each copy of the Source List (Price includes postage and handling). Volume discounts are only available on orders placed prior to publication.

We hope that you find this publication useful and that it will encourage you to further explore the wonderful world of bamboo.

Bill Hollenback, Ted Jordan Meredith and Noah Bell
Source List Editors
(Source List compilation and editing)
Chris Stapleton
Species List Editor
(Species List nomenclature and taxonomy)

On to the Species Tables →

From Our President

quote  Growing bamboo is wonder. Wonder what species to grow, wonder what it will look like mature, wonder how to take care of it and wonder if I am the only one so seriously interested with this wondrous plant. You are in the right place. Use this site to explore and learn. We welcome you to join this society and find a world of enthusiasts that can open up windows to new adventures in the this plants amazing story."

by: James Clever, ABS President 01/2011


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