Price list Bamboo choices Hardiness list Bamboo Care Home

Hardy Clumping Bamboo

Clumping bamboos can be planted without fear of them spreading beyond their assigned territory. Their rhizomes, the underground stems, are quite different than those of our timber and other non-clumping bamboos. Instead of a horizontal spreading rhizome, they are u-shaped making new culms next to the original plant, spreading only a few inches per year, hence the name clumping bamboo.  They range in height from 8 to 25 feet, depending of the species, continue reading...
Call us at 503-647-2700 or email
 This page is divided into three categories, scroll down or click links to see clumping bamboo
Fargesia, Chusquea, Thamnocalamus, and Borinda genera. See Clumping growth rate for a yearly photo progression in the landscape. Please contact us if you would like assistance in selecting the right bamboo.


(Far-gees-ee-uh) are very cold tolerant, shade loving bamboos from the mountainous region of western China. They can grow nearly anywhere in the USA, aside from Southern to South-East climate zones that are very hot or humid. They create beautiful evergreen hedges or "fountains" of delicate foliage. They will tolerate a fair amount of sun, but prefer some shade during the afternoon hours, in order to look their best. Fargesia range from 8 feet to 16 feet, depending on the type. All are clump forming and do not spread more than 4-6 inches per year.
Each picture is a link to a larger photos and a description

Fargesia nitida
(new seedlings)

Fargesia denudata

Fargesia denudata Xian II

Fargesia murielae

Fargesia nitida 'Nanping'


 Fargesia robusta

Fargesia robusta 'Pingwu'
"Green Screen"

Fargesia robusta

Fargesia robusta '

Fargesia sp. 'Rufa'
Green Panda



Fargesia sp. 'Rufa'

Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida'

Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida' 'Silver Dragon'

Fargesia sp. 'Dracocephala'

  Fargesia sp. 'Dracocephala   White Dragon'

Fargesia sp. 'Jiuzhaigou' I
"Red Dragon"

Fargesia sp. 'Jiuzhaigou' IX

Fargesia sp 'Jiuzhaigou' IV
"Black Cherry"

Fargesia sp. 'Jiuzhaigou' Genf

Fargesia sp. 'Jiuzhaigou' II

Fargesia sp. 'Jiuzhaigou' X

Article by Noah Bell:
Comparing different 'Jiuzhaigou' forms

ATTENTION:  Most of the bamboo on this page prefer afternoon shade.
        For areas of USA such as the Midwest, Northeast, and East Coast,  Hardy Clumping Bamboo require dappled sun to full shade or no more than a few hours of direct morning sun. On the West Coast they can tolerate more sunlight, especially in mild coastal climates of the Pacific Northwest.
       For South East USA, where it is very hot and humid, try Bambusa multiplex or Bambusa ventricosa, see this link:
Cold-sensitive Clumping Bamboo
The most sun-tolerant Clumping Bamboo include:
Fargesia robusta,
Fargesia sp. 'Rufa'
Fargesia sp. 'Scabrida' and
Thamnocalamus tessellatus
but they still require a couple hours of shade in hot climates.
T. tesselatus is our only hardy
  bamboo native to South Africa and it is sun loving and wind tolerant. T. crassinodus are native to the Himalayas and prefer mild, shady climates.
C. culeou and C. gigantea are native to Chile and are fully sun tolerant, however, they need well draining soil and do not flourish in areas with high summer humidity. They can be very challenging plants.
 Borinda are native to Yunnan, China and other nearby mountainous areas. They prefer a mild, cool climate. Coastal Oregon, extended south the length of coastal California is their preferred habitat. Shade loving. Some will exceed 20 feet in height.

Thamnocalamus tessellatus

Thamnocalamus crassinodus

Thamnocalamus crassinodus 'Merlin'

Thamnocalamus spathiflorus 'Nyalam'


Chusquea culeou

Chusquea culeou
'Cana Preita'

Chusquea culeou

Chusquea  gigantea


Borinda albocerea

Borinda angustissima

Borinda boliana

Borinda fungosa


Borinda macclureana



Borinda utilis

Borinda sp. 'Willow'

Borinda yulongshanensis

  Overview of Clumping Bamboo      

       Clumping bamboo are defined as having a non-invasive rhizome structure (known as pachymorph rhizome) which differs from the better known –and sometimes feared—running bamboo (leptomorph rhizome). Clumpers form a tight cluster of gently arching culms extending from a relatively small root mass. Each underground bud pushes upward forming culms, and do not become long running rhizomes. Instead, clumping bamboos grow outward in a circular formation at a modest pace of 2 to 12 inches per year. Canopy growth is also relatively slow, usually gaining a couple feet of height and width annually. Height range at maturity is between 10 and 20 feet for most species. There are some exceptions; tropical and subtropical species can reach 50 feet or more in the US, given hot, southern climates.

       We have a special affection for hardy clumping bamboos. We believe these plants will help overcome popular fears about bamboo, and pave the way to its acceptance as a significant addition to the landscape as well as its incorporation into our culture. Bamboo Garden is on the forefront of introducing new and exciting species of clumping bamboo into the United States and promoting their multitude of uses. Though many are new to cultivation, clumping bamboo are gaining recognition for their landscape value as low maintenance alternatives to the larger, more vigorous, running bamboos. Fargesia sp. ‘Rufa’, with plumes of feather-like foliage, provide a wonderful accent to the small urban garden. Larger species, such as F. robusta, create dense evergreen privacy screens to over 15 feet. The gracefully weeping culms of Borinda angustissima and F. sp. ‘Jiuzhaigou’ support masses of tiny leaves with a delicate, airy texture. Outer culms can be topped to make the plant more compact and upright. New introduction, F. sp. ‘Scabrida’, has outstanding colors: purple culms outlined by rusty-red culm sheaths contrasting with dark green leaves. Some species, such as F. nitida, are among the most cold hardy bamboo, surviving temperatures as low as negative 20° Fahrenheit.

     Most thrive in a partial shade environment, but there is enough variety to find a suitable clumping bamboo for just about any need. Our selection have special significance and unique qualities for the home garden or commercial landscape. We hope the pages of our website offer a new perspective of the possibilities and wonderful variety among clumping bamboo. back to top


Clumping Bamboo Growth progression in the landscape:

photo© Jonathan Arlook
September 2009, F. robusta Campbell planted from 5 gallon size, approx 5 to 6 feet tall, planted 4 to 5 feet apart

photo© Jonathan Arlook
September 2010, Multiple new shoots in the spring + a few additional mid summer shoots

photo© Jonathan Arlook
September 2011, heights of seven to nine achieved in the spring, fence mostly concealed.

photo© Jonathan Arlook
September 2012, increased density, height now 12 feet, fence 95% hidden

photo© Jonathan Arlook
September 2013, mature 15 foot height, fence completely hidden, neighbors window also concealed.

photo© Jonathan Arlook
6+ years, Mature height has been achieved and the bamboo has been groomed nicely to maintain tidy, upright stature.
(click on photo to see larger image)

Pruning Clumping Bamboo to maintain upright growth
(click on each photo for a larger image)

photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
1. A large, sprawling Fargesia murielae, is about 6 years old, 12 feet tall, and 12 feet wide. Notice that the canopy is about 3 times the width of the base.

photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
A view from the other side. These photos were taken after a harsh winter at Bamboo Garden. Its time for a spring clean up.

photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
2. I have started cutting the most weepy canes at the outer base of the plant.

photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
3. About 10 % of the outer canes are removed by cutting them back to ground level.

photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
4. Some of the taller canes that weep outward a little too far are topped by cutting them just above a node, about 2-3 feet down from the top. This causes them to stand more upright.

photo copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
5. The job is finished and cut canes moved to the debris recycling area. This took about 30 minutes, using only a small hand pruner. If done once a year, any clumping bamboo can be kept tidy and upright, if that is what is desired.
Clumping Bamboo Root System
(Also known as a pachymorph rhizome)
click on pictures to see larger image

                   F. robusta clumping rootmass.  photos copyright: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
Each bud turns upward to form a new cane close to the base of the plant.  This is a different structure than the running type, which send out rhizomes several feet per year and produce new canes at varying distances.  Clumping bamboo expand at the base by about 4 to 10 inches per year. The canopy flares outward with an arching canopy, as shown below.

See link for photos in the landscape: Clumping Bamboo Growth Rate



Growth Progression of Clumping Bamboo Root system.

Here is a close up of a clumping bamboo root mass. The base of #1 and #2 are the oldest parts of the rhizome system, where the cane has died back to ground level.  You can see the growth progress outward in a circular manner to #3, which is still attached to a live cane.  #4 and #5 were likely produced in the same year, during a spring and summer shooting phase. #6 was produced in the following spring shooting phase.  #6 has made three new shoots that are poised to grow into new culms in the next shooting phase.  Approximately 3 years has passed for rhizomes #1 - #6 to grow in a complete circle.  If we did not divide the plant at this time, it would overlap itself and become more dense.  This is all happening inside a 1 gallon container.  This particular Fargesia rufa was divided into three separate plants by cutting the rhizome neck at its narrowest point. This propagation technique has been gradually developed and near perfected by Bamboo Garden. This image provides a good illustration of the growth habit of clumping bamboo. Each rhizome extends out a few inches and becomes a new culm. This makes the growth rate and habit of Clumping Bamboo very predictable, hence easy to control. Click on the photo to see a larger image.
Photo © Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden

Photo ©: Noah Bell, Bamboo Garden
Irma, washing and dividing a full grown Fargesia robusta



Timber Bamboo  (Phyllostachys)   
30 to 70 ft. tall
Mid-sized Bamboo (Phyllostachys)
15 to 30 ft tall
Cold-hardy Clumping Bamboo       
6 to 25 ft. tall
Cold-sensitive Clumping Bamboo
 6 to 50 ft. tall
Other Running Bamboo               
6 to 25 ft. tall
Small Running Bamboo                
1 to 8 ft. tall
Price List,  Ordering/Shipping info.
Planting and Caring for Bamboo
Landscape Use
Hardiness list
Bamboo Screens and Hedges
Bamboo Control Barrier
Bamboo For the Interior
Current Specials Sale! 
Customer Favorites
Shipping Rates
Bamboo Links