Giant Thorny Bamboo

Bambusa bambos

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


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


over 40 ft. (12 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


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

Sun to Partial Shade


Plant has spines or sharp edges; use extreme caution when handling

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:



Good Fall Color

Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

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

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Gardeners' Notes:


On Sep 14, 2007, popper1 from Lakeland, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I do like this plant, but you have to do some heavy pruning if you plan on getting close to it. It gets very long, wiry lower branches that have very sharp thorns. I trim all nodal branches off the first six feet of the culms. This allows me to walk right up to and under the plant. The nodes will continue to put out branches and I break them off as soon as they start. Once you get the initial trimming done, the maintenance is easy. As new culms come up I break the lower branches off as soon as they start.

This bamboo gets very tall, large diameter culms and grows quickly once established. With the lower culms stripped bare and the dense, leafy branches up high, you can have a most impressive bamboo.


On May 19, 2004, dbinnix from Garden Grove, CA wrote:

I am probably the only person around that actually likes this plant. It has huge nasty thorns on it that can be from 1 inch to 10 feet(no kidding) long. But that's what saws are for and if you cut them off they don't grow back. One the positive side it is the only bamboo that has jet black shoots that turn a green black color as they mature. It is the largest member of the genus bambusa (not to be confused with the family Bamboo which D. giganteus is the largest of all). It can actually grow up then sideways then up again. It's canes are extremely heavy and hard which is interesting as well. It does come up for sale from time to time, cheap, bandaides not included. There are two large ones growing in Southern California at Quail Botanical gardens in Encinitas if you wanted to see o... read more