The Bugwood Network

Bamboos
Golden bamboo, Phyllostachys aurea Carr. ex A.& C. Rivičre and other invasive bamboos, Phyllostachys spp. and Bambusa spp.

International Code - PHAU8
FIA survey code - 4130


Miller, James H. 2003. Nonnative invasive plants of southern forests: a field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS–62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 p.

acrobat version

Plant. Perennial infestation-forming bamboos, 16 to 40 feet (5 to 12 m) in height, with jointed cane stems and bushy tops of lanceolate leaves in fan clusters on grasslike stems, often golden green. Plants arising from branched rhizomes.

Stem. Solid jointed canes 1 to 6 inches (2.5 to 15 cm) in diameter. Hollow between joints. Golden to green to black. Branches wiry and grasslike from joints. Lower shoots and branches with loose papery sheaths that cover the ground when shed.

Leaves. Alternate, grasslike, often in fan clusters. Blades long and lanceolate, 3 to 10 inches (8 to 25 cm) long and 0.5 to 1.5 inches (1.3 to 4 cm) wide. Veins parallel. Often golden, sometimes green or variegated. Hairless except for large hairs at base of petiole, which shed with age. Sheaths encasing stem.

Flowers. Flowers very rarely.

Seeds. Seeds very rarely.

Ecology. Common around old homesites and now escaped. Colonize by rhizomes with infestations rapidly expanding after disturbance. General dieback periodically after flowering and seeding (about every 7 to 12 years) resulting in standing dead canes and new shoots.

Resemble switchcane, Arundinaria gigantea (Walt). Muhl., the only native bamboo-like cane in the South, distinguished by its lower height—usually only 6 to 8 feet (2 to 2.5 m)—and its persistent sheaths. Also resemble giant reed, Arundo donax L., also described in this book.

History and use. All native to Asia. Widely planted as ornamentals and for fishing poles.


July
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


July
Photo by J. Miller


States with suspected infestations are shown in gray.

Golden Bamboo shown in all images.

Recommended control procedures:

  • Thoroughly wet all leaves with one of the following herbicides in water with a surfactant (September or October with multiple applications to regrowth): Arsenal AC* as a 1-percent solution (4 ounces per 3-gallon mix), a glyphosate herbicide as a 2-percent solution (8 ounces per 3-gallon mix), or combination of the two herbicides.
  • Cut just above ground level and treat stems immediately with a double-strength batch of the same herbicides or herbicide mixture.

*   Nontarget plants may be killed or injured by root uptake.


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USDA Forest ServiceUSDA APHIS PPQThe Bugwood Network University of Georgia Bargeron, C.T., D.J. Moorhead, G.K. Douce, R.C. Reardon & A.E. Miller
(Tech. Coordinators). 2003. Invasive Plants of the Eastern U.S.:
Identification and Control. USDA Forest Service - Forest Health
Technology Enterprise Team. Morgantown, WV USA. FHTET-2003-08.