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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 1:23 am 
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Looking good.

So whats the final word on the cold tolerance and final size of Shanghai 3 and prominens?

Found a spot to drop another one in my yard and trying to decide what would do the best against the cold and get the biggest.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:03 am 
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The biggest shanghai III culms are just a bit under 3 inches with 2014 culms, but there's also not a lot of space in this planting. I think I remember Steve in France claiming to see them at the 3.5 inch mark before. I believe there should be shoots exceeding 3 inches in the 2015 crop.

Prominens has reached over 2 inches for David in Tennessee, around 3 inches for the mother grove of that in NC, and the largest I've ever seen off prominens are shoots around 1.5 inches at the base. I believe Needmore will likely get some 2+ inchers as long as there's not another polar vortex, and the greatest reported online size appears to be 11cm, just over 4 inches on this picture. Of course this species has been in Europe way longer than it has in the US, so that may not be the limit.
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http://palmvrienden.net/lapalmeraie/2012/04/bamboe/

It's way too soon to tell which one is hardier at this point, but both appear pretty similar in diameter potential. I believe prominens likely gets taller with it's generally longer internodes, and stronger, thicker walled culms.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 3:28 am 
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I wonder why we never see photos of any groves in nature in China. People keep talking about these two being monsters but nothing has shown up yet (well 4" is pretty dang good though). Still nice size on some of the others too. I think I'll just go with the Shanghai 3 first. I really like how it looks. Maybe I can get it to new sizes here. We have over 300 days of sun and pretty short winters. Hot summers with lots of water and good soil should do wonders. Thanks.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 03, 2015 2:04 pm 
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From what I understand the Chinese have had the Phyllostachys species in cultivation for so long that they have been stripped from their native habitats. So important information like their original altitude will never be known, thus making predictable hardiness assessments impossible.

Seems the high latitude Fargesia species are still in the wild though who knows how many species or selections were brought down to lower elevations over the centuries and perished in the heat.

I'd love to hear if we know where even one Phyllo sp. originally came from. I asked some experts but get no response. Suppose there's a chance some "species" could in fact be hybrids made in agricultural settings. And are many Phyllo spp. represented by a single clones and its variations from it or does the diversity one would find in nature exist in cultivation?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2015 8:55 pm 
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That's interesting to know. I suppose some of these places are so far in the mountains also and are so inhospitable for travel that it's difficult to even visit. Along with a very closed off country, villages, and roads make it less likely to know the origins. I guess what I imagined when a new species comes out that some bamboo fanatic was traveling on some path and stumbled on a gold mine of a bamboo forest. And everything lit up around it and glowed bright. and a chorus sang. Then he took some to share with the rest of the world. With lots of photos and a detailed map to the treasures for everyone to share. Writing down it's size and climate etc. I guess not. It's instead some hidden secret where someone probably a long time ago brought it from far off and has been cultivating it for decades or centuries until some foreigner noticed it looked different from anything else before, with little history of who brought it there or how long ago :lol:

Still there must be giant mature forests of this stuff some place. Somebody needs to find it.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 1:28 am 
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I think moso is the base species for all of the phyllostachys, and through cultivation, we have the huge array of different species. Through Asia, I believe a majority of the bamboo forests are regular moso bamboo. Mutations do happen relatively quickly with bamboo so it may only take a few generations to get lots of species, and this stuff has likely been cultivated for thousands of years.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:13 pm 
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stevelau1911 wrote:
Mutations do happen relatively quickly with bamboo so it may only take a few generations to get lots of species, and this stuff has likely been cultivated for thousands of years.


I doubt that very much and would suspect speciation in bamboos took place before their flowering periods increased to those of present day. Just a hunch, all a great mystery which none of the books seem to touch on.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:12 pm 
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johnw wrote:
stevelau1911 wrote:
Mutations do happen relatively quickly with bamboo so it may only take a few generations to get lots of species, and this stuff has likely been cultivated for thousands of years.


I doubt that very much and would suspect speciation in bamboos took place before their flowering periods increased to those of present day. Just a hunch, all a great mystery which none of the books seem to touch on.


John, that is an interesting hypothesis but how do you explain that different species concurrently "increased" their flowering periods while being both geographically and environmentally very separated?

For us humans the flowering periods can seem like inconceivable lengths of time but in the greater picture of earth's history it is but a tiny blink.
With enough variance in the seedlings I doubt speciation would be overly hindered by these long flowering intervals. I assume the long interval has developed to prevent animals from specializing in consuming bamboo seeds, a bit like the 17 year cicada.

As for the mutations I also don't think that bamboo mutates excessively much, at least not to the point where you would expect lots of new species to emerge.
If this were the case I'd expect bamboo to be infertile as it would make little sense to waste all energy on seed production and exhaust the colony, possibly to the point of its demise.

It would be really interesting to hear an expert's opinion on the matter.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:30 pm 
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Nicholas - I'm certainly not the one to ask as nothing I've said is based on science.

I look at Fargesia nitida flowering at 124 year intervals and reckon after say 100 million years it has only had a million or less chances to evolve whereas it's annually flowering counterpart has had 100 million chances. So are bamboos at an evolutionary disadvantage. My gut says yes but what reason says I have no idea.

Now an alternative, the very first bamboo - the mother of all bamboos - may have "learned" that there was a need to increase the flowering period to avoid either predator or disease as you say and from there speciation started. Does it make more sense that speciation took place first and then all subsequent genera and spp. learned the same trick subsequently? Then again these plants are smarter than we are.

I'm at a loss but likely nothing happened fast. Though I heard on the CBC recently that some birds have developed smaller wings of late to weave through traffic on roads more agiley!

It really would be interesting to hear what the experts have to say on the matter.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 3:56 pm 
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I agree with johnw, longer generation times mean there's no way bamboo could adapt to changes in climate, predators,... Well there is a small chance of mutations in established plants, but bio diversity relies on sexual reproduction. One adaptation of bamboo is, that it starts to flower when it gets shocked. That might trigger flowering and if climate would change rapidly, bamboos would start flowering sooner, producing new seedlings that could have improved gene for heat/cold hardiness, others would die and 'survival of the fittest' would declare the winner.

There might also be some kind of mechanism that would somehow promote mutations and drastically increase genetic diversity.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:03 pm 
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I think since bamboo came from grass that just no longer needed to seed. Grass seeds every year to survive. But since they can have wet summers there that keep it alive it started to live longer. It didn't need to or have the triggers to make it seed from the dryer or hotter temps that normally dry it out and kill it in other places. With longer life it grew bigger and bigger. And every year it pushed off another year of seeding. No need to waste energy seeding either since it wasn't going to die in summer or fall, didn't need to propagate for survival, all it's energy and nutrients were going to rhizomes instead of seeds. Eventually it had gone 10 years, 20 years, 50 years, and 100 years. Usually every place on the planet has some 100 year drought or what not though or fire that sweeps through. So possibly it stuck to that. And when that 100 year drought or fire came and stressed it, it would trigger the seeding mechanism, and hence why they die at seeding. Just like a normal grass at the end of the year does to survive.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2015 9:31 pm 
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Tarzanus wrote:
One adaptation of bamboo is, that it starts to flower when it gets shocked. That might trigger flowering and if climate would change rapidly, bamboos would start flowering sooner, producing new seedlings that could have improved gene for heat/cold hardiness, others would die and 'survival of the fittest' would declare the winner.
There might also be some kind of mechanism that would somehow promote mutations and drastically increase genetic diversity.


Tarzanus

I'll be devil's advocate here. Now if that shock were an extremely cold winter that froze off all the culms then what? Presumably the only mechanism would be the flowering of smaller new shoots the next year, the cold weather having then passed how does the hardier selection take place? in other words with main flowering every 100yrs. you only get one shot at selection for hardiness and if year 100 has a mild winter then it will have missed the boat for another century. Frankly I'm baffled.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 07, 2015 6:26 pm 
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Got my Shanghai 3 planted yesterday. And put in a barrier, lots of mulch, compost, wood chips and leafs in there. Should grow great.

The shanghai 3 is small on the very far right.
Rubromarginata in the middle
and Fargesia Rufa in the pots.

Let's see how that Shanghai 3 does here. I got to thinking I'm probably the only one out here with the Shanghai 3 in this area. Kind of a part of History helping to figure out how they do and grow, And a good test for size since we get so much sun. Someone may have some in Portland but that's much more wet and far far less sun than where I am. Bamboo is not nearly as tall there as their max. Except I get colder here.


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File comment: Fargesia Rufa in pots, Rubromarginata in the middle, and Shanghai 3 on the far right.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:23 am 
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7a should be pretty easy for s3 to handle since it gets no damage in 7b. I think 2016 should already have shoots over 1 inch.

My largest S3 went from two 2ft tall culms with the main 1.6 inch diameter field division in 2013 up to 4 culms in the 5-8ft range in 2014 so it definitely picks up energy pretty quickly.


It's a good thing that the rubromarginata is starting out at a larger size because it would be shaded out by s3 very quickly if they were equal to start.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:43 pm 
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Anyone seen any Shanghai 3 leaves like this before?

The new culm has very short and fat leaves with a very rich vibrant green. Whereas any Shanghai 3 I've seen before and on the older culm is always very thin and a different color. It looks like two totally different plants growing together. Two different halves. The leaves started growing very early, when the old culms leaves are not doing much of anything. And the new growth on the new culm is still looking like this new look (the culm is from last summer but new leaves started growing again last month). The original leaves also seem to have more ridges whereas the new ones are more flat and smooth. Or did another species somehow invade my division? Could it be doing something weird like reverting to it's original form? Normally i'd just assume it's just a little variance, but it's just so totally different it's bizarre.

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