PSEUDOSASA JAPONICA

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Previously known as Arundinaria japonica, Pseudosasa japonica is just one of only twenty one species of bamboo currently within the Pseudosasa genus. It genus name is derived from the Sasa genus as this group of plants are visually similar.

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Pseudosasa japonica is an extremely adaptable and very hardy species of bamboo, and one of the most commonly cultivated in the United Kingdom since its introduction in 1850. Commonly known as the 'Arrow Bamboo' or 'Japanese Arrow Bamboo', Pseudosasa japonica was once the plant of choice for Japanese Samurai who used its hard, stiff canes for their arrows.

Native to to both Japan and South Korea, it forms dense thickets of olive-green, hollow canes of approximately 3-4.5 meters in height, although there are reports of them reaching up to 6 meters high when grown under particularly favorable conditions. Pseudosasa japonica has a habit of arching at the topmost part of its canes. Branches are borne singularly from each of the upper nodes and produce a mass of glossy, dark-green leaves which can be up to 25 cm in length. The underside of each leaf is grey-green in colour with a green marginal stripe. Panicles of green or brownish flower spikelets may appear at any time of year

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Plant container-grown plants in April or May in any ordinary moist, humus-rich and well-drained soil. Pseudosasa japonica will also do well in large containers and coastal gardens. It will perform best in a sunny position sheltered from strong winds but unlike most other bamboo species is surprisingly shade tolerant.  Avoid the root ball drying out completely as this can cause root damage and subsequently the foliage will die back. Always water over its first season and during periods of drought.

Be aware that Pseudosasa japonica has a creeping root-stock which can become invasive in warm, moist or favorable conditions. With this in mind, appropriate measures may need to be put in place to restrain the root system from travelling into areas where it could be considered a pest.

For related articles click onto he following links:
HOW TO GROW BAMBOO
RHS: PSEUDOSASA JAPONICA

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