The fact that the name Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’ immediately prompts thoughts of the word ‘spectacular’ is no coincidence. This is truly the kind of bamboo for which visuals speak a thousand words – no description quite doing justice to its unique charm and beauty.
Origins and Appearance
Also referred to as yellow groove bamboo, Spectabilis is characterised by its beautifully bright, lemon-yellow shoots which really stand out during the cane’s growth phase. During this time, the colour is quite spectacularly vivid and contrasts beautifully with the green striped sulcus, which presents up the culm’s length on alternating sides. The nodes themselves are just as stunning, with rich tones of pastel blue, pink and bright red.
New Spectabilis shoots put on a magnificent display when exposed to strong and direct sunlight, with the red colour from the nodes extending throughout the rest of the culm. Though they may appear sunburned in more ways than one, they are not actually damaged by the direct sunlight. It’s a truly incredible sight to see, with the red slowly fading into a delightful yellow over time.
When used as a feature plant in its own right, Spectabilis never fails to turn heads. Used to create a divide or as fencing in the garden, it’s impact is intensified. However, for the most dramatic and captivating effect of all, Spectabilis can be paired with the contrasting black shoots of Phyllostachys nigra for a visual effect that’s so mesmerizing, it almost appears synthetic.
Despite being one of the most enchanting and beautiful of all bamboo types, yellow groove bamboo shares the same resilient and durable properties as its Phyllostachys siblings. It shoots up at a rate of around 3 to 5 feet each year, reaching a maximum height of up to 6 meters. As always, care must be taken to avoid unwanted spread, but Spectabilis will usually clump quite predictably when provided with ideal soil conditions.
An evergreen bamboo of impressive resilience, Spectabilis will thrive in full or partial sun, with minimal protection required from extreme wind-chill. Given its truly magnificent appearance, year-round durability and minimal skill requirement, Spectabilis is almost always highlighted as one of the most highly-recommended of all bamboo types for temperate gardens.
At a Glance:
- Position in Garden – Full Sun or Partial Shade
- Soil Condition – Fertile, Humus-Rich, Moist with Adequate Drainage
- Growth Rate – Average
- Leaves – Green to Golden
- Canes – Green to Brownish-Yellow with Distinctive Grooves
- Hardiness – Very hardy
- Maximum Height – Up to 6 Meters
- Skill Level – Easy