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Chusquea Culeou or Chilean Bamboo is a hardy, evergreen variety which is notable for its branching habit, giving it a bushy appearance. It has been given the RHS Award of Garden Merit for its desirability for both specimen planting and evergreen screening. This is a clumping, non-invasive bamboo.
Native to the southerly tip of South America, Chusquea Culeou is a temperate zone bamboo which is very well-suited to UK gardens. When the canes first emerge they are smooth, glossy, and leafless, with a striped appearance, growing to a diameter of 3 cm. Within a year the canes will mature to an olive green and develop an abundance of branches 10-80 cm long with medium green leaves as long as 6 cm. The foliage is evergreen, providing a dense screen year-round.
Hardy in most parts of the UK, Chilean Bamboo will grow to a mature height of 4-8 metres and spread of 1.5-2.5 metres in 5 to 10 years. Plant 1.8 metres apart for a hedge screen. Thin out dead or damaged canes in spring, and cut out flowering stems as they develop.
Plant your Chusquea Culeou in full sun or partial shade in moist but well-drained loam. Chilean Bamboo does not like being moved, so choose your spot carefully! It will do best in a sheltered position out of the wind with a south, east, or west facing aspect. It will benefit from a thick mulch to keep its roots cool in hot weather. It is generally disease-free, but new growth may suffer some damage from slugs. Resistant to air pollution, Chusquea Culeou is a good choice for planting in a city garden.
Chilean Bamboo makes a good specimen planting even in a relatively small garden, as it does not have the invasive habit of other varieties. Its graceful, arching shape creates an attractive focal point, whether set in a lawn or in a shady spot with moist soil. While it is not well-suited to container planting, a Chusquea Culeou specimen can add height and year-round interest in a courtyard or next to a patio. Planted in a grouping or in a row as a screen on a larger property, Chilean Bamboo will perform magnificently, with its dense growth and year-round foliage.
Chusquea Culeou is an attractive, hardy bamboo, whether used as a specimen plant or as a screening hedge. In a small or large garden, you can easily find a spot where this beauty will shine!