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Timor Black Bamboo

Bambusa lako

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bambusa (bam-BOO-suh) (Info)
Species: lako


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage

Provides Winter Interest

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


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)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:


Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


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

Brentwood, California

Garden Grove, California

San Diego, California

Santa Barbara, California (2 reports)

Ventura, California

Vista, California

Boca Raton, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Loxahatchee, Florida

Merritt Island, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Palm Coast, Florida

Port Charlotte, Florida

Venice, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Austin, Texas

Galveston, Texas

Houston, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 2, 2007, rplingaltx from Galveston, TX wrote:

I planted this bamboo last year and though it has been slow to take off I noticed this week a new shoot about 1 inch in diameter so I must be doing something right for it. If it follows the growth pattern of my bambusa oldhamii I will probably see the most growth starting next year. It really is beautiful...even as a relatively small plant still. I highly recommend it!
9/2/07 So the previously mentioned 1 inch culm has attained a height of about 18 feet and I noticed today another one about a foot tall at the base. Yay! The culms are not black in color yet, but seem to be getting darker the older they get.


On May 28, 2006, FloridaGrower from Winter Springs, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Did surprisingly well in 9b Central Florida during the cold spell experienced during the past winter. Only had the little canes that were oldest, die. The following night I put on a sprinkler mister, and it did fine. I left it on all night, as the water coming out at about sixty degrees or so, kept the freezing air from affecting the plant.
Without a doubt one of the best looking plants I have seen. My culms have almost slightly different shades, and variations in color. One is just a shiny black as night, while one has a blackish, blue tint to it, also shining like clear coat. The new ones are a rich deep green, that will blacken up. The darkness of the canes, mixed with the lime green, to almost pale rich green on the leaves, makes this a great, and beautiful specimen, not to me... read more


On Nov 12, 2005, MitchF from Lindsay, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

This grows here in Dallas with some help.


On Jan 21, 2005, tropicalbamboo from Loxahatchee, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

A top 3 tropical bamboo species in South Florida (zone 9b and up). Erect, fast, and beautiful. Can be used as a specimen, in a row to create a screen, or mixed with other tropical plants/trees.
Performed very well in the recent Florida hurricanes.


On Dec 3, 2004, SoCalBoo from San Diego, CA wrote:

Grows very well in Southern California. Very upright. Grows tall compared to culm diameter. Needs full sun. Feed and water regularly.


On Jul 3, 2004, KillerChihuahua from Merritt Island, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

Does very well in Central Florida so far. Really beautiful. Not as slow growing as I thought it might be - we put in a plant with two skinny culms this spring and now have 7, and the 5 new ones are much fatter and the last 3 to come up have almost twice the height of the originals. Still not sure how tall it will get here though.
ADDITION march 2005: Concur on surviving the hurricanes well. This plant did wonderfully well in a yard that was mostly flattened.


On May 7, 2004, dbinnix from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

This is another of the large black clumping varities, there are actually 2 others Dendrocalamus asper 'Betung Hitam' which is the biggest and Gigantochloa atroviolacea which turns black the fastest. Of the three I think this one is the best looking of the trio. The one plant that is in Southern California at Quail Gardens went to seed so now everyone is watching their plants to make sure the same does not happen as bamboo dies after it goes to seed (at least there would be new ones if that did happen). So far that's the only one I know of that has done that, Quail Gardens also got another one from a grower that so far is doing OK.


On Apr 25, 2004, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

Saw this plant for the first time this weekend. Definitely a keeper. Canes shine up like Japan laquer.


On Jan 6, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

Nice black bamboo from Indonesia. Not common in cultivation, but should be. Relatively slow species in So Cal.