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Fargesia Papyrifera or Umbrella Bamboo Papyrifera
In its native habitat in Yunnan, China, the Fargesia Papyrifera grows at elevations of close to 12,000 feet. High in the mountains, the Fargesia Papyrifera, also called the Umbrella Bamboo Papyrifera, has evolved and adapted to tolerate extreme weathers. It can withstand temperature drops down to -12 degrees Celsius and still retain its bright green evergreen colouration.
The culms of this hardy bamboo stand approximately 8 meters in height and measure 6 centimeters in diameter. When the shoots first emerge they are a light green with a white powdery exterior. As the culms grow, they start to turn a bluish-white in colour when fully mature. The mixture of blue and white hues on the culms stand out in stark contrast to the plant’s green foliage. The leaf sheaths on the culms often persist and add further visual interest.
During the first year of growth, the culms of the Umbrella Bamboo Papyrifera grow upright with no drooping. In the second year of growth, the foliage and the tops of the culms starts to flop downward giving the visual impression of an umbrella which is why the plant is commonly called the 'umbrella bamboo'. This is a common feature of the Fargesia family of Bamboo.
Umbrella Bamboo Papyrifera is a clumping bamboo and non-invasive. The outer bands of the clump are made up of the mature culms and the interior of the clump is where the new bamboo shoots emerge. The new shoots are often harvested as edibles that are used in cooking and salads.
The Fargesia Papyrifera bamboo grows best in full sunlight, however, it will tolerate partial shade. The plant prefers well-draining soil that is evenly moist. Once established, the bamboo tolerates drought well. It does not enjoy places with high humidity and excessively hot weather.
The clumping growth habits of this hardy umbrella bamboo makes it a favourite choice to grow in large pots on the patio or balcony. Its height makes it most suitable for evergreen screening. It tolerates shearing or pruning well, but the bamboo’s umbrella-like appearance will be seriously altered if the plant's growth is controlled or altered via pruning.
If you are seeking a hardy bamboo that is non-invasive and grows in an eye-pleasing weeping umbrella fashion then look no further than the Fargesia Papyrifera.