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Purple culms
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Author:  Culm B 4 the storm [ Sun Apr 07, 2019 3:25 am ]
Post subject:  Purple culms

Hello! new member , thanks for having me. In Feb. I planted some large clumping hardy bamboo. Some of the culms were 10 feet. a few days after planting, days of high wind and below freezing temps set in. Unusual for the Olympic coast where it is mild. Then 2-3 feet of snow fell, crushing one large clump. I tried to clear snow but it was falling like a blizzard. when the thaw came about 3 weeks ago I noticed some of the culms were purple on one side, or striped. Now it is somewhat black, and the totally destroyed leaves look better now. any ideas on the purple? thanks

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Author:  wind-borne [ Sun Apr 07, 2019 7:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

I would think it's likely sun exposure as the purpleness is on the same side of various culms. The color may wrap around with time or even change significantly.
Do you know your bamboo's name?

Here is a pic of a red variety viewed from the east with a few culms in an initial purple phase on southern exposure with green where the sun don't shine before moving on to other colors.
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Author:  Culm B 4 the storm [ Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:59 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

Thanks wind- borne! that makes sense as those culms are facing direct south sun, which will be north soon. I am right above the water, 140 feet above the strait. although cool, the sun is intense from reflecting off the water. this creates a couple challenges. gale force winds whip in within minutes. I have teathered the clumps as they would get blown over. I wish I knew the type. the local farm where I got them has had a grove for decades, and they lost the information from days past. I have included a couple of pics, and to my delight, a new shoot just popped up. I think they are some type of Fargesia, but not sure. They took a beating and are just starting to recover. I am hoping for new culms and to thin out some old ones. Not sure if I should cut them now, or wait until fall. Thanks so much for your thoughts

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Author:  needmore [ Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

Is the culm in the lower right a different bamboo? I think I see bellies such as Bambusa ventricosa (hardy to your area?) or Phy aurea?

Author:  Culm B 4 the storm [ Mon Apr 08, 2019 3:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

I think they are all the same, thanks. They all came from 3 or 4 clumps that were growing together. the snow and wind did leave some culms bare. Interesting, I will look into your thoughts on the variety. Is there an ancestry.com for bamboo? Does the shoot provide any clues or do most shoots look similar? thanks again

Author:  dependable [ Tue Apr 09, 2019 11:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

The new shoots are some one of the best ways to ID bamboos, perhaps post a couple more pictures.

I have had a couple varieties make pink/purple culms in response to cold. The most striking I've seen was in P areosulcata ''spectabilis''.

Author:  Mr.Bean [ Tue Apr 09, 2019 4:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

Your plants are Phyllostachys aurea, not a Fargesia. Phyl. aurea can behave as a clumper in climates with cool summers like the PNW, so many people mistake it for a clumper, and the Olympic Peninsula has cool summers even compared to the rest of the PNW. But it is a runner, not a true clumper. I wouldn't worry about it turning into a rampant beast like it can in the south, though. In your climate, it may send up the occasional culm several feet away, but likely won't ever spread far or fast.

Bambusa ventricosa would not survive on the Olympic Peninsula. Even if the winters are mild enough not to kill it to the ground, the summers are too cool for it to grow well, much less recover from a cold winter. Most Bambusa barely succeed even in Gold Beach Oregon, which is at least a full zone warmer than Port Angeles, but still too cool in summer.

Author:  Culm B 4 the storm [ Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

Thanks! I will check out the aurea you mentioned. It is a challenge with high winds and salt air I get here on the ocean. They mostly survived temps down to about 10 degrees. I am hoping for new shoots as the wind has really thinned out a few leaves. It will be a huge challenge to grow here, but needed a quick privacy screen. Grateful for the thoughts.

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Author:  Culm B 4 the storm [ Mon Apr 15, 2019 3:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Purple culms

Thanks Evan! They do appear to be P. Aurea. I remember when I planted some Friday, one spinal like root shot out a couple of feet with a new shoot coming up. So I have planted a bunch of runners without knowing. I will keep an eye out to see if they pop up at the neighbors. . there is a sidewalk between us and dense clay to tunnel through. It help so much to know the type, reading up on it it looks like it is a good choice in wind-prone areas, which is me. I took 3 pics, one shows the classic knurled tortoise shell culm bottom. One new one of the shoot, and one on the purple/black showing up, which looks like sun and maybe sub freezing temps. Thanks again for the I.D!

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