Bambusa, Chinese Bamboo, Hedge Bamboo 'Alphonse Karr'

Bambusa multiplex

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Bambusa (bam-BOO-suh) (Info)
Species: multiplex (MUL-tih-pleks) (Info)
Cultivar: Alphonse Karr
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Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


Unknown - Tell us


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)

Where to Grow:

Can be grown as an annual


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From woody stem cuttings

By simple layering

By air layering

By tip layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Mesa, Arizona

Amesti, California

Corralitos, California

Elkhorn, California

Interlaken, California

Mountain View, California

Pajaro, California

San Fernando, California

San Francisco, California

Santa Barbara, California

Temecula, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Topanga, California

Vista, California(9 reports)

Watsonville, California

Alachua, Florida

Bradenton, Florida

Brandon, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Labelle, Florida

Mulberry, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Prospect, Kentucky

New Orleans, Louisiana

Elizabeth City, North Carolina(2 reports)

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Aransas Pass, Texas

Austin, Texas

Houston, Texas

San Antonio, Texas

Buckley, Washington

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Nov 3, 2014, hardyinokc from Oklahoma City, OK wrote:

I have grown this bamboo in the ground in my OKC yard for several years. At 15-20 degrees it dies back to the ground but has always re-sprouted from the roots the following late spring. When planting this in zone 7, do not expect to see any life from it until the 1st of May, depending how warm the spring is.


On Sep 15, 2012, Tuls from Alachua, FL wrote:

I planted this bamboo last fall and in one year it has not grown hardly at all. I have one in full sun and one in partial shade. They look green and healthy, but almost the same size as 1 year ago. Is there any tricks to get them growing?


On Nov 9, 2008, sauraja from Mesa, AZ wrote:

Planting nearly anything is a challenge in the Greater Phoenix area with our very poor, caliche filled soil. I planted one 5 gallon, 5 foot tall Alphonse Karr in May of 2007 after preparing a 16' long x 2' wide x 3' deep trench along a south wall that was dug, sifted and admended. I separated the bamboo into 3 sections and now in Nov of 2008 the new shoots are exceeding 8 feet in height and the clumps have grown from a dozen shoots to about 30 each that are twice the originals diameter. I pruned out the original skinny shoots in July of 2008. The bamboo is intended to produce a 10 foot high plus living privacy screen and to block the neighbors porch light and it is well on its way. I am in process of extending the trench to 32 feet and adding another separted bamboo to the additio... read more


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

A great bamboo. Very easy, fast growing, tight clumper. Culms are a beautiful yellow with green stripes. They can have pink and orange hues, especially when young. I trim the node branches off on the first four feet or so of the culms to really show them off. The leaves are deep green & dense. Mealy bugs can be a problem. They get in the branches at the nodes and can be difficult to get at. I use a systemic soil drench made for trees & shrubs once a year & it works like a charm.


On Sep 26, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

this was one of my favorite bamboos back when a had a yard- great yellow to orange culms (especially orangey new culms) with irregular green striping. Had a severe problem with mealy bug and scale, though- plant much less hardy to problems than 'regular' B multiplex, and it struggled much of the time. Heavy dosing of pesticides hurt plant, too, which surprised me... so careful with diazazon with this one (I could not keep the ants away... and they brought all their 'friends').