Jan 16, 2013

Three American bamboos - River Cane, Hill Cane, & Switch Cane

River Cane

River Cane
River cane or giant cane is known by the name Arundinaria gigantea. It is the largest of the three American bamboos and can top 26 feet in height. Although it is native to Florida, it is quite cold hardy and has grown up and down the east coast, tolerating conditions to climate zone 5 (average minimum temperatures of -20F). In warm climes, its culm (stem) is about an inch thick, but in colder climates it is thinner and only grows to 6 or 7 feet tall. It loves damp or soggy planting sites.

Hill Cane
Hill cane or Arundinaria appalachiana is the most recently discovered of the United States species. Botanists first identified it as a separate species in 1997 and it is native to the hills of Appalachia and the northern edge of the Piedmont region. Unlike most other species of bamboo, hill cane loses its leaves in the fall. It is smaller than other American bamboo plants, usually growing to no more than 3 feet in height. It is also very thin, varying from less than a tenth of an inch to a quarter inch in diameter.

Switch Cane
Switch cane, or Arundinaria tecta, is a forest understory plant which ranges along the east coast of the U.S. It is similar in appearance to giant cane and is sometimes considered the same species. The main difference is height -- switch cane is less than 7 feet tall. It is also less likely to grow along rivers and marshes, where giant cane grows.

Read more: 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The photo is of golden bamboo (Phylolstachys aurea), a highly invasive bamboo from Southeast Asia, NOT a native cane (Arundinaria spp.)