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Common Name:

Black Bamboo

Scientific Name:

Phyllostachys nigra

Family Name:

Poaceae (Gramineae)


Black Bamboo can generally be thought of as a smaller more shrubby version of Phyllostachys aurea. Black Bamboo has attractive dark green to purple-black culms (stems).

Plant Habit or Use:

Large shrub, tropical


sun, partial sun, shade

Flower Color:

Rare in cultivation, signal death of above ground portions of the plant

Blooming Period:

Spring, summer

Fruit Characteristics:

Seldom encountered, not ornamental


6 ft to 10 ft, rarely 15 ft


indeterminant, spreading from underground rhizomes

Earth–Kind® Index:

  • Heat Tolerance: High Heat Tolerance
  • Water Requirements: Medium Water Use
  • Soil Requirements: Medium Soil Requirements
  • Pest Tolerance: High Pest Resistance
  • Fertility Requirements: Low Fertility Requirements
Explanation of the Earth–Kind® Index breakdown

Firewise Index

Explanation of the Firewise Index numerical value

USDA Hardiness Zones:

7, 8, 9, 10, 11

Regions that intersect these hardiness zones:
Region A - Panhandle and High Plains Region B - North and Central Texas Region C - Northeast and East Texas Region D - West Texas Region E - Upper Rio Grande Region F - Hill Country and Central Coast Region G - Southeast Texas Region H - Rio Grande Valley
Click image for enlarged map of USDA Hardiness Zones

Additional Comments:

Adapted to similar conditions as P. aurea. May be somewhat easier to contain spacially than P. aurea.
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A Special Note about Cool Season Annuals

Cool season annuals typically are planted in the fall or early winter and flower in early spring under moderate temperatures. This group of plant materials includes: pansies, snapdragons, violas, dianthus, flowering cabbage/kale, etc. Because cool season annuals flower in the spring when conditions are mild, most have limited heat tolerance.

As a result cool season annuals do not receive a high Earth–Kind® index despite their outstanding landscape qualities.