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Chinese Timber Bamboo

Phyllostachys vivax

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Chinese Timber Bamboo (Phyllostachys vivax) at Pesche's Garden Center

Chinese Timber Bamboo

Chinese Timber Bamboo

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Chinese Timber Bamboo (Phyllostachys vivax) at Pesche's Garden Center

Chinese Timber Bamboo bark

Chinese Timber Bamboo bark

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  40 feet

Spread:  5 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade  full shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6a

Other Names:  Vivax Bamboo

Group/Class:  Timber Bamboo


One of the hardiest timber bamboos; tall, with deep green culms and airy green foliage; will grow quite tall in ideal conditions; very impressive along borders or as a focal point, but must be controlled

Ornamental Features

Chinese Timber Bamboo is primarily valued in the landscape for its pronouncedly upright and towering form. Its pointy leaves remain green in color throughout the year. The dark green stems are very colorful and add to the overall interest of the plant.

Landscape Attributes

Chinese Timber Bamboo is an herbaceous evergreen perennial with a rigidly upright and towering form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care and upkeep, and is best cleaned up in early spring before it resumes active growth for the season. Gardeners should be aware of the following characteristic(s) that may warrant special consideration;

  • Spreading

Chinese Timber Bamboo is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens

Planting & Growing

Chinese Timber Bamboo will grow to be about 40 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 5 feet. It tends to be leggy, with a typical clearance of 6 feet from the ground, and should be underplanted with lower-growing perennials. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 20 years. As an evegreen perennial, this plant will typically keep its form and foliage year-round.

This plant performs well in both full sun and full shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is not originally from North America. It can be propagated by division.

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Naturalizing 
Texture  Plant Form  Bark  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features