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Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)

Golden bamboo Common Names: Fishpole bamboo

Description: Widely planted as an ornamental and was first planted in the United States in Alabama in 1882. Also sometimes planted for use in making fishing poles.

Habit: Large, somewhat woody, rhizomatous, perennial grass that produces clumps of single branching stems. Grows quickly reaching 7-39 feet tall.

Leaves: Branches produce up to 6 leaves, which are arranged in fan-like clusters. Leaf blades are narrow, grass-like and generally measure 2-6 inches long and up to 0.8 inch wide.

Stems: Stem diameters may reach 6 inches but are typically 3.5 inches or less. Appear jointed because of swollen internodes. Branches often occur in pairs, and stems and branches are green turning golden yellow with age.

Flowers: Flowers are rarely produced by golden bamboo and in much of the United States, flowers have never been observed. Flowers occur in spikelets up to 2 in. long with 8-12 flowers. Mass flowering events occur every 7-30 years.

Fruit and seeds: Seeds germinate once mature and moist. Dry seeds may sit dormant for several months, it is thought that viability is lost over time and lack any long-term dormancy.

Habitat: Native to China. Can be found in forest clearings, forest edges, and roadsides. Although rare, golden bamboo has been reported in both prairies and pine woodlands.

Reproduction: Vegetative growth from established clones can be rapid. Stems may reach full height within 1 month. Rhizome growth can result in the development of dense thickets and colonies. A single plant can produce up to 9.3 miles of stems in its lifetime.

Monitoring and rapid response: Repeated cutting or mowing may kill plants by exhausting rhizome nutrient stores. It is recommended that stems be cut close to the ground. Should be repeated throughout the growing season and will continue for several years. Can also be controlled by applying herbicide to cut stems.

Credits: The information provided in this factsheet was gathered from the US Forest Service.

Individual species images that appear with a number in a black box are courtesy of the network ( Individual photo author credits may not be included due to the small display size of the images and subsequent difficulty of reading the provided text. All other images appear courtesy of Google (

Common Name:

Golden bamboo

Scientific Name:

Phyllostachys aurea







USDA Symbol: