Phyllostachys, a type of Bamboo, is easily identifiable by the stems or culms which have a prominent groove called a sulcus. This groove runs along the length of each segment. Phyllostachys comes from the Greek phyllon meaning leaf and stachys meaning spike. Although it may not be considered as one of our more traditional hedging plants, Bamboo provides striking, year-round interest and a wonderful garden feature.
Bamboo is a key food source to many animals, including: the Giant Pandas in China, the Red Pandas in Nepal, the Bamboo Lemurs in Madagascar and the Mountain Gorillas in Africa.
Although the young shoots of phyllostachys contain toxins there are certain processing methods that render them edible. They are used in many Asian dishes including soups and broths and can be purchased in Asian supermarkets. In Indonesia the shoots are sliced thinly and boiled with thick coconut milk. The hollow stems are also used as a container for boiling soups and rice. Many kitchen utensils are made from bamboo wood, such as chop sticks.
In China, the bamboo plant is a sign of gentleman, the plant signifies mental strength, uprightness and a hollow heart. Traditionally, Vietnamese villages were surrounded by bamboo hedging. Bamboo is also the national plant of St.Lucia.
In Philippine mythology the bamboo stem was split in half to create the first man and the first woman. Whilst in Malaysian mythology a man was sleeping under a bamboo plant and had a dream that he met a beautiful woman. When he woke he cracked open a bamboo stem to find the woman inside.
In the Japanese martial art of kendo Bamboo is used to make the shinai sword. It is also used to in making the world's longest bow, the yumi. A simple spear can be formed by sharpening the end of a bamboo stem.
Bamboo is a popular choice for landscape architects when creating a tranquil garden. It is often used instead of a water feature as the gentle movement of bamboo hedge plants billowing in the wind creates a fluid effect. It is one of our popular, evergreen hedge plants and Best4hedging have a great selection of the most suitable varieties for garden hedging. View the full range of Best4Hedging's fast growing hedge plants.