When most people think of bamboo, its usually an image of a tall green screen. What really got me into collecting bamboo about 10 or so years ago was its wide range of colors, each very unique in its own way. Your typical green bamboo is no doubt beautiful in its own way, but here is a gallery of some of my favorite colorful bamboo plants that will knock your socks off:
This is a cut culm of Himalayacalamus hookerianus 'Teague's Blue', named after the late Bill Teague , this colorful beauty is a clumping bamboo that needs afternoon shade in our Sacramento climate.
This is another photo of 'Teague's Blue' Bamboo.
This is Bambusa multiplex 'Alphonse Karr', a clumping bamboo that takes full sun and does very well in our Sacramento climate. This variety is ideal as a privacy hedge, but retains some ornamental beauty.
This is a running bamboo called Semiarundaria yashadake 'Kimmei'. This variety takes full sun and takes on a deep red-purple coloring when exposed to the sun. This variety does well as a container-grown bamboo. This is a photo I took this past week.
Himalayacalamus falconeri 'Damarapi' 'Candystripe Bamboo' is a afternoon-shade clumping bamboo that is a great ornamental. The colors shown here ironically are their brightest around the holidays.
This Borinda fungosa, a clumping bamboo that needs shade from our hot Sacramento afternoons. In the right place, this variety can serve as a privacy hedge as it is very dense. I've seen this variety informally referred to as 'Chocolate Bamboo.'
Last, but certainly not least, is Phylostachys nigra punctata 'Giant Black Bamboo.' Not colorful as in vibrant, but black is a color after all and this variety is very unique and very popular. This photo was taken by my friend and Bambutopia blogger, Gerhard Bock, of a plant in my collection. Used with permission.
If you ask most bamboo collectors or even the average gardener seeking to spice up their yard, bamboo offers a tremendous variety of texture, color and size opportunities. For me, the color is what got me hooked and many other people I know. Enjoy and don't get bit by the 'bamboo bug!'