The Fargesia Simba Bamboo, or Umbrella Bamboo Simba, is one of the toughest little bamboo specimens you can find. To give it its full name, Fargesia Murielae Simba is an ornamental bamboo variety, a short and compact bamboo ideal for the smaller garden.
Of the Family Poaceae, the Genus Fargesia characteristically form a dense clump of evergreen, slender and arching canes which bear a copious number of narrow leaves. With origins in China, this relative to Asian bamboo provides us with the lineage that is Fargesia Murielae or the Umbrella Bamboo.
The cultivar Simba is a relatively recent introduction to the UK, first grown in Denmark in the 1970’s. The elegant, graceful, arching yellow-green canes will rarely extend beyond 2 metres, which is low by bamboo standards. The lanceolate leaves are bright green in colour and typically grow to about 10 centimetres in length. Fargesia Murielae Simba is ideal for planting where space is limited, or as a container plant to add to a patio’s charm. Simba typically features low, arching branches with the freshest foliage of all the bamboos.
Selecting a good location for this dwarf evergreen bamboo is easy. Fargesia Simba Bamboo can fit into small spaces, adds to the colour of a bamboo planting if by design; or to complement other plants that prefer similar exposure, light and soil environments. The early emergence of its foliage adds to a bamboo collection as its colour can emerge while the other bamboo might still look a bit dull in the early months of the growing season.
The hardy Fargesia Simba bamboo can tolerate sun and wind, but it actually prefers shady locations and a soil which retains moisture well. Even some clay in the soil texture mix won’t harm this bush. As a container plant, provide it with a loamy soil containing plenty of mature compost, and it will thrive. pH should be near neutral, or slightly acidic or alkaline. Choose an aspect priority from East to North to South and to West facing in order of preference. Avoid too much exposure, and seek a reasonably sheltered position. Coastal locations are fine, as long as they aren’t too extreme. It can tolerate the extremes of summer droughts and harsh cold winters better than most any of the bamboos you might choose.
Reaching an ultimate height of about 2 metres at the most, and an ultimate spread of 1.0-1.5 metres over the course of its 5-10 years until full growth, Umbrella Bamboo Simba serves as your best choice for a short growing architectural beauty in low growing hedging or screens, in a sub-tropical container collection, or up on a roof terrace.