On Jun 3, 2012, DaveH San Francisco, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:
I ordered black bamboo seeds from California Seed and Garden (a.k.a. Refining Fire Chiles) through Amazon in December 2011. I planted them and got close to 100% germination in just two days, which should have tipped me off. Bamboo seed seldom has anywhere near that germination rate, and usually takes considerably longer to germinate, sometimes as long as 2 or 3 months. After about a month the seedlings looked exactly like . . . grass. I contacted the vendor, who told me he was having problems with his supplier, and he sent me replacement seed from another vendor. This was in February. I planted them, and after 4 months zero have germinated.
For many years I've grown dozens of species of bamboo for the arboretum near where I live, so I have a good deal of experience with bamboo. Needless to say, I will not be buying from this vendor again.