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Scientific Name
Synonyms
Common Names
Family
Origin
Naturalised Distribution
Cultivation
Habitat
Distinguishing Features
Habit
Seedling
Stems and Leaves
Flowers and Fruit
Reproduction and Dispersal
Impacts
Control 
Similar Species
Legislation
Sources
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Click on images to enlarge


infestation (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


habit (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


upright stems (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


partially exposed creeping underground stem (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


grooved stem above branches (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


close-up of yellowish-coloured older stem (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


leaves (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


close-up of leaves showing constricted stalk-like bases (Photo: Sheldon Navie)


young shoots emerging from creeping underground stems (Photo: Sheldon Navie)

Golden bamboo
Phyllostachys aurea

Scientific Name

Phyllostachys aurea Rivi re & C. Rivi re

Synonyms

Bambusa aurea hort. ex Rivi re & C. Rivi re
Bambusa aurea Sieber
Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zucc. var. aurea (Rivi re & C. Rivi re) Makino

Common Names

bamboo, fish-pole bamboo, fishpole bamboo, golden bamboo, stick bamboo, yellow bamboo

Family

Gramineae (South Australia)
Poaceae (Queensland, New South Wales, the ACT, Victoria, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory)

Origin

This species is native to some parts of China (i.e. Fujian and Zhejiang provinces).

Naturalised Distribution

Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) has become naturalised in some parts of south-eastern Queensland and in several locations along the coast of New South Wales. It has also been recorded as naturalised near Perth in south-western Western Australia.

Also naturalised in Indonesia, New Zealand, southern USA (i.e. California, Oregon, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Maryland), Hawaii and La Reunion.

Cultivation

Widely cultivated as a garden ornamental in Australia.

Habitat

Mainly a weed of sub-tropical and warmer temperate regions that is problematic in untended areas, near gardens, along roadsides and waterways and in urban bushland.

Distinguishing Features

Habit

A long-lived (i.e. perennial) bamboo with upright stems (i.e. erect canes) usually growing 2-8 m tall, but occasionally reaching up to 12 m in height. Plants form dense or loose clumps and spread rapidly via creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes), with the upright stems being produced from their joints (i.e. nodes).

Seedling

Seedlings of this species are not seen, as naturalised plants reproduce vegetatively.

Stems and Leaves

The stems (i.e. canes) are upright (i.e. erect) and turn form green when they are young to greenish-yellow or golden-yellow in colour as they mature. They are banded with horizontal rings at the joints (i.e. nodes) and are grooved lengthwise (i.e. longitudinally) above where the side branches are produced. These stems are hollow between the joints (i.e. nodes) and are usually 2-3 cm thick. The distance between each joint (i.e. the internode) is usually 8-20 cm long and there is often a white powdery substance present on the stem just below each joint (i.e. node). However, the lowermost joints (i.e. nodes) on each stem are usually closer together and they are often also slanted (i.e. obliquely inclined), thereby giving the base of the stem an irregular zig-zagged appearance.

The leaves are clustered and produced on short shoots which grow from the joints (i.e. nodes) on the branches. They consist of a leaf sheath (25-35 mm long), which surrounds the stem, and a spreading leaf blade. The base of the leaf blade is very narrow and stalk-like in appearance (i.e. pseudo-petiolate). Leaf sheaths are mostly hairless (i.e. glabrous), except near their margins, and where the sheath meets the leaf blade there is a tiny membranous structure (about 1 mm long) topped with long hairs (i.e. a ciliated ligule). On either side of this structure there are sometimes also 1-3 larger bristles (i.e. setae). The leaf blades (5-15 cm long and 5-22 mm wide) are elongated (i.e. lanceolate) in shape, may be either hairless (i.e. glabrous) or softly hairy (i.e. pubescent), and have rough (i.e. scabrous) but entire margins.

Flowers and Fruit

Flowers and seeds are very rarely, if ever, produced in Australia and so are not described here.

Reproduction and Dispersal

This plant reproduces vegetatively via suckers from its proliferous creeping underground stems (i.e. rhizomes).

It quickly spreads outwards from deliberate garden plantings and pieces of its root system (i.e. rhizomes) can also be dispersed in soil and dumped garden waste.

Impacts

Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) is regarded as an environmental weed Queensland, New South Wales and the ACT.

Control

Biosecurity Queensland Control Fact Sheet

Similar Species

Golden bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) is very similar to madake (Phyllostachys bambusoides ) and black bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra ), and relatively similar to giant reed (Arundo donax ). These species can be distinguished by the following differences:

Legislation

This species is declared under legislation in the following states and territories:

Sources

Anonymous (2002). A Global Compendium of Weeds. http://www.hear.org/gcw. Hawaiian Ecosystems at Risk Project and Department of Agriculture - Western Australia.

Anonymous (2006). Australia's Virtual Herbarium. http://www.anbg.gov.au/avh. Australian National Botanic Gardens, Environment Australia, Canberra, ACT.

Anonymous (2006). Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl. National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, National Genetic Resources Program, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Beltsville, Maryland, USA.

Anonymous (2006). Phyllostachys aurea Carr. ex A.& C. Rivi re. Golden bamboo. Plants Profile. http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PHAU8. Natural Resources Conservation Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Anonymous (2006). Phyllostachys aurea Rivi re & C. Rivi re, Poaceae. Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER): plant threats to Pacific ecosystems. http://www.hear.org/pier/species/phyllostachys_aurea.htm. Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Hawaii, USA.

Anonymous (2007). NSW Department of Primary Industries. http://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au. NSW Department of Primary Industries, Orange, New South Wales.

Anonymous (2007). Weeds Australia. http://www.weeds.org.au. National Weeds Strategy Executive Committee, Launceston, Tasmania.

Auld, B.A. and Medd, R.W. (1996). Weeds: An Illustrated Botanical Guide to Weeds of Australia. Inkata Press, Sydney, New South Wales.

Harden, G.J. (1993). Flora of New South Wales. Volume 4. University of New South Wales Press, Kensington, New South Wales.

Henderson, R.J.F. (2002). Names and Distribution of Queensland Plants, Algae and Lichens. State of Queensland, Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane, Queensland.

Jacobs, S.W.L. and Hastings, S.M. (1993). Phyllostachys. In: Flora of New South Wales, Volume 4 (ed: G. Harden). New South Wales University Press, Kensington, New South Wales.

Kleinschmidt, H.E., Holland, A. and Simpson, P. (1996). Suburban Weeds. 3rd Edition. Department of Primary Industries, Brisbane, Queensland.

Lazarides, M., Cowley, K. and Hohnen, P. (1997). CSIRO Handbook of Australian Weeds. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria.

Navie, S.C. (2004). Declared Plants of Australia. CD-ROM. The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland.

Navie, S.C., Markwell, B., Playford, J. and Adkins, S.W. (2002). Suburban and Environmental Weeds: an interactive identification and information system. CD-ROM. The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, Queensland.

Sharp, D. and Simon, B. (2002). Ausgrass: an interactive key to Australian grasses. CD-ROM. Queensland Herbarium, Brisbane, Queensland.