Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Golden Bamboo, Fishpole Bamboo
Phyllostachys aurea

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phyllostachys (fy-lo-STAK-iss) (Info)
Species: aurea (AW-re-uh) (Info)

One vendor has this plant for sale.

17 members have or want this plant for trade.

Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)
USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)
USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)
USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)
USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Full Sun

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Unknown - Tell us

Grown for foliage

Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:
Unknown - Tell us

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There are a total of 13 photos.
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1 positive
1 neutral
4 negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Negative Rickwebb On Jan 21, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This huge running bamboo is very rampant growing and rapidly spreads all over the place. Its broken twigs can flow downstream, root, and start another colony. I've seen underground stems send up shoots more than 30 feet from the colony in spring. When plants get big and old, many stems fall over and it gets really messy. I've volunteered at cutting down and digging up this noxious, invasive weed species from East Asia a number of times in southeast Pennsylvania land preserves, trying to reestablish native plant communities. If one really wants a temperate species bamboo, one should buy the Fountain Bamboo, Fagesia nitida, that only gets to 12 ft high and stays as a clump.

Negative Carol_Merritt On May 20, 2012, Carol_Merritt from Spring Hill, FL wrote:

My neighbor planted 5 of these plants (uncontained) on the property line of a residential lot consisting of .33 of an acre. The U.S.D.A. states that one Golden Bamboo plant can spread 9.3 miles. We spent several years digging rhizomes in the hot Florida sun in a desperate attempt to keep it from encroaching onto our property. This is the most invasive, destructive plant I have ever come across in my lifetime. We finally installed a 75 foot steel reinforced concrete barrier at a cost of 3,000 dollars. My husband injured his knee in the process and required surgery. It is now a year later and he still has problems with the knee. This is the fastest growing plant in the world. The bamboo has grown to within 10 feet of the end of the barrier. We foresee digging rhizomes again next spring. We lost the lawn, all landscaping, and 6 young palm trees. At this time our total costs because of this plant has been 10,100 dollars not counting my husband's surgery. This plant needs to be banned in residential neighborhoods.

Negative nativelyeager On Jan 17, 2011, nativelyeager from Brooksville, FL wrote:

Phyllostachys aurea has naturalized (a misleading term: there is nothing natural about it because it was moved here by humans) and is invasive in Central and Northern FL. It is listed as FLEPPC (FL Exotic Pest Plant Council) Category II, meaning it has increased in abundance or frequency but has not yet altered Florida native plant communities to the extent of Category I species. It will become ranked Category I when ecological damage is documented. If you do not live next to a natural area or to neighbors who might freak out when it invades their property, you might still want this obnoxious-though-beautiful plant. It will just take a lot of your time to keep it in check, even if invasion elsewhere is not an issue.

Neutral frostweed On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Golden Bamboo, Fishpole Bamboo Phyllostachys aurea is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.

Negative palmbob On Mar 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This was one of my first bamboo, when I didn't know any better. Since then I have planted ove 30 species of bamboo in my old yard, but this is only one i have regretted. This is one of the most commonly grown bamboo in cultivation- easy to find and cheap. It is easy to grow, too...a bit too easy. It it a runner of the number one calliber. It is SO invasive it's scary. I planted this at one corner of the yard a ways from everything thinking no problems (had over 1/2 acre), but it shows up 10-15' away from its source. And then each of those take off. Usually I just snap off new culms that show up here and there, but these are remarkable resilient and even when bent at 90 degrees, it keeps on growing. Hard stuff to kill!

It is easy to identify this species as it has relatively small culms (I think about 1.5" max) they are always green (to yellowy in full sun). The plant grows to about 20-25' tall. The internodes of this species are quite close together near the soil, but then are spaced more evenly about 1-2' high. That characteristic is probably the best one for identification.

Positive Michaelp On Nov 10, 2003, Michaelp from Glendale, UT (Zone 5a) wrote:

This one, as well as most species of Bamboo[both Dendrocalamus and Phyllostachys]have eddible shoots --just earth up the bases of the plants in the winter -and than cut the shoots as they emerge form the piled up soil,in the spring--don't let them get too big,or they get tough--if you let them get exposed to light ,they will get bitter.Boil for 1/2 hr or longer,but not too long or they loose the crispness of texture.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Lower Lake, California
Palm Springs, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Clifton, Colorado
Hinesville, Georgia
Parsons, Kansas
Hulbert, Oklahoma
Tulsa, Oklahoma
Downingtown, Pennsylvania
Easton, Pennsylvania
Clarksville, Tennessee
Sweetwater, Tennessee
Fort Worth, Texas
Seattle, Washington
Spokane, Washington

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