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Old 2021-05-28, 18:09   #89
Uncwilly
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Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
I bet the most people here didn't know that you can't, actually, buy a panda.
Maybe I can buy a panda and you can't.
How do you think I realised that it won't prevent it?
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Old 2021-05-28, 18:13   #90
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Haha.
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Old 2021-05-28, 23:17   #91
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I have a vague recollection from around 1980 of seeing a story on the national news about bamboo and the giant panda. The bamboo in one region in Sichuan Province where the giant panda lives was flowering. This was of huge significance for the pandas.

Some species of bamboo, including some of the staple foods of the giant panda, like arrow bamboo Fargesia spathacea, and blue fountain bamboo Fargesia nitida, grow for decades, undergo synchronous flowering over entire regions if not the whole world, and then the plants all die. (The news report said the bamboo had last flowered there 60 years previously IIRC). The mass flowering event mentioned on that long-ago news report led to the starvation of hundreds of giant pandas.

I've also heard of a species in India that flowers synchronously every 48 years. The fruits provide a food bonanza for the local rodent populations, whose numbers explode, resulting in severe crop damage in the area.
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Old 2021-05-29, 01:03   #92
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Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I've also heard of a species in India that flowers synchronously every 48 years. The fruits provide a food bonanza for the local rodent populations, whose numbers explode, resulting in severe crop damage in the area.
Mautam
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Old 2021-05-29, 07:48   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
I have a vague recollection from around 1980 of seeing a story on the national news about bamboo and the giant panda. The bamboo in one region in Sichuan Province where the giant panda lives was flowering. This was of huge significance for the pandas.

Some species of bamboo, including some of the staple foods of the giant panda, like arrow bamboo Fargesia spathacea, and blue fountain bamboo Fargesia nitida, grow for decades, undergo synchronous flowering over entire regions if not the whole world, and then the plants all die.
Fargesia nitida flowered about 2005. My specimens died and I never got a round to replacing them with current-generation seedlings. For this species the flowering cycle is around 100-120 years.
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Old 2021-05-29, 12:36   #94
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Fargesia nitida flowered about 2005. My specimens died and I never got a round to replacing them with current-generation seedlings. For this species the flowering cycle is around 100-120 years.
The ornamental Agave americana is commonly known as the "century plant," although it usually only grows for 10-20 years before it flowers and dies.

Fargesia nitida seems much more deserving of the name.

A plant that only flowers and goes to seed once in its life cycle is called a "monocarp."

In 2015, a specimen at the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens bloomed and died after having lived for 80 years.
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Old 2021-05-29, 13:03   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
The ornamental Agave americana is commonly known as the "century plant," although it usually only grows for 10-20 years before it flowers and dies.

Fargesia nitida seems much more deserving of the name.

A plant that only flowers and goes to seed once in its life cycle is called a "monocarp."

In 2015, a specimen at the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens bloomed and died after having lived for 80 years.
A. americana flowers much younger in optimum growing conditions. At the limits of its range it can indeed take a century or more to flower.

Some plants are growing happily in gardens outdoors only 2km from here; some of mine are kept out over winter in their pots. The species survives overnight temperatures down to -10C and daytime max of -3C for a few weeks at a time as long as they are kept dry. It's ice that kills them, not sub-zero temperatures per se. The variegated variety isn't as hardy as the glaucous blue but it mine still stay out for most of the winter, being dragged under cover only when particularly cold nights are predicted.

It's a shame that A. attenuata isn't really frost hardy and has to be brought undercover each winter. That said, a brief excursion as low as 0C doesn't seem to do them much harm.
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Old 2021-06-02, 22:56   #96
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Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
If the drainage is poor in that particular area mainly due to compacted clay soil, you might want to consider reshaping the surface and/or amending the soil (plenty of organic matter and perhaps some sand). You want water to drain away from structures and away from ornamental trees.
Unfortunately this is kinda just a result of the area in which we live. Very flat land with no proper drainage. Plus we're near the bottom of a local ridge that has a lot of runoff during big rainstorms...

It could be a good idea to mess with the soil though! I'm not sure how I would be able to find out what the current composition is but perhaps I could just replace a large portion of it?

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I need to research the matter more before commenting further. Prior to that, Phyllostachis species sound like a good bet but, as you mention, you will need to find a way of keeping them under control.

AFAIK most clumping versions are not worth eating.

Limiting vertical height is utterly trivial, but you have to wait until the desired height is reached by any particular culm. Hint: secateurs.
Have you heard of this barrier material before? It claims to be specifically designed for keeping bamboo contained: https://bambooshield.com/products/ba...ick-x-24-depth

In my research I found a nice looking site that seems to have a lot of useful information: https://www.gardenia.net/compare-plants/bamboos

I punched in the following parameters: Hardiness zones 7 and 8, and Full Sun. This brought up a few Fargesia varieties and many Phyllostachys. In particular, this one looks like a perfect match: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/fargesia-rufa

It matches the temperature range of our area, it fares decently in a lot of sunlight (will be planted on the south side of the house), it likes wet soil, and it may like the type of soil found here (lots of clay content). Plus, it's a clumping variety so no barrier would be needed. Not likely to be very edible but that's not a big deal. Any thoughts?
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Old 2021-06-03, 08:56   #97
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Have you heard of this barrier material before? It claims to be specifically designed for keeping bamboo contained: https://bambooshield.com/products/ba...ick-x-24-depth
I've never seen that particular site or material before, but that is exactly the sort of stuff that is is recommended by the experts.
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Originally Posted by jvang View Post
In my research I found a nice looking site that seems to have a lot of useful information: https://www.gardenia.net/compare-plants/bamboos

I punched in the following parameters: Hardiness zones 7 and 8, and Full Sun. This brought up a few Fargesia varieties and many Phyllostachys. In particular, this one looks like a perfect match: https://www.gardenia.net/plant/fargesia-rufa

It matches the temperature range of our area, it fares decently in a lot of sunlight (will be planted on the south side of the house), it likes wet soil, and it may like the type of soil found here (lots of clay content). Plus, it's a clumping variety so no barrier would be needed. Not likely to be very edible but that's not a big deal. Any thoughts?
F. rufa is a very nice bamboo. I have one myself. It is well behaved and supposedly edible though I've never tried eating it.

You're in much the same hardiness zone as I, though likely have hotter summers, so Phyllostachys sp. should be very happy. With these you will almost certainly need a barrier, or eternal vigilance.
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Old 2021-06-03, 10:40   #98
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F. rufa is a very nice bamboo.
One further thing: the specimen shown in the web site is likely at least 30 years old. Unless you pay an absolute fortune you will get a plant with a diameter of a foot or less at the base and it will grow outwards by about 2-4 inches a year in my experience.

Phyllostachys bamboos grow much faster, which is why you should have a barrier, and tend to be rather less expensive because they are easy to propagate and the nursery doesn't need to look after them for so long before they reach a saleable size.

Last fiddled with by xilman on 2021-06-03 at 10:40
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Old 2021-06-03, 18:25   #99
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Quote:
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One further thing: the specimen shown in the web site is likely at least 30 years old. Unless you pay an absolute fortune you will get a plant with a diameter of a foot or less at the base and it will grow outwards by about 2-4 inches a year in my experience.

Phyllostachys bamboos grow much faster, which is why you should have a barrier, and tend to be rather less expensive because they are easy to propagate and the nursery doesn't need to look after them for so long before they reach a saleable size.
I suppose I will need to compare the cost of getting multiple smaller Fargesia or fewer Phyllostachys but with the barrier material. Would the 24 inch wide barrier be deep enough? It seems they go up to 36 inches wide but I'm sure I could overlap them if needed.

Here's some pictures of the area where these will be planted, in case it's helpful:
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