hello new friends--
i'm brand spankin new (as an official subscriber-member) to Dave's, so this is exciting and fun!!!
i would like to mail order and grow some bambusa lako---giant, clumping, black timber bamboo (an uber-beauty!) but the nursery (in florida) says it will grow in minimum zone 9b in the u.s. i'm in the SF Bay Area, east bay, in west oakland. when i enter my zipcode in a search engine for usda zones, it comes up as 8b. i'm in sunset zone 17.
now, i am very spoiled living and gardening here--we can grow almost anything, including a lot of tropicals. so i'm wondering if anyone around here is growing it, despite where they say you can grow it.
My welcome, too, Cookiecat. The local member who I am aware knows a lot about bamboo is Azorina. I will let her know about your thread in case she doesn't discover it, and hope she might have some input for you.
Welcome! You're two of my favorite things all rolled into one-cookies & cats! (lol)
Here's an absolutely fabulous Bamboo nursery here in the Portland area that specializes in hardy bamboos-if it's hardy here, it'll be hardy in Oakland. :) He's very, very knowledgeable. I don't know if you'd want to mail order it, but the site has tons of good info on the various bamboos: http://www.bamboogarden.com/
you might reconsider and try Phyllostachys nigra http://www.bamboogarden.com/Phyllostachys%20nigra.htm
not as impressive as bambusa lako but does get nice and black & is more hardy and will do fine where you are
just know it is a runner and plant accordingly
when they say minimum is 9b you have to realize that is almost 10a = very close to tropical - can you grow bananas ?
and if you are zone 8 it would be questionable
you were to put it next to a wall or in a protected area like a court yard
try this zone checker http://www.garden.org/zipzone/index.php
Cookiecat- I have 23 varieties of bamboo but none as spectacular as bambusa lako. Another reason to move south!! Good advice from Strever! Phyllostachys nigra is a nice looking bamboo that I use most often for trellising, staking and other garden projects, (although puny by comparison)