Order:   Poales
Family:   Poaceae
Genus:    Bambusa
Species: oldhamii ?
Variety: 'Hirose'

Florida c s

Edible Parts
Other Uses
Dynamic accumulator Windbreak Cordage Construction3
Here at our homestead in Arcadia, Florida, this bamboo of questionable native origin has proven to be one of the fastest growing, most upright of our collection of bamboos. This giant timber bamboo is very columnar in shape and withstood the 100 mph winds of Hurricane Irma in 2017 very well. It should reach 70' tall with 5" diameter culms. Similar in appearance to Oldhamii, it has not in fact been properly identified as a variety of this species yet. Whispering Winds Bamboo in Hawaii tells us that the shoots are of an "excellent quality and may be eaten raw if well mulched and not allowed to see sunlight" and that the quality of the timber is excellent. It is quiet rare in the United States, and plants may be obtained from Tropical Bamboo Nursery in Loxahatchee. I am so grateful to them for selling me a plant a few years back. If anyone has any experience growing, working with the culms of, or consuming the shoots of this particular variety, please contact me, thanks. 

EDIBLE SHOOTS: "Excellent quality and maybe eaten raw if well mulched and not allowed to see sunlight." [5]
CULMS FOR CONSTRUCTION: "Some people feel it's superior as a landscape specimen and for construction material." [1]  Whispering Winds Bamboo says that the timber is excellent. [5] Sharon's Plants writes, "It produces very hard and large diameter timber that has undergone laboratory analysis and proven to be one of the strongest timber producers." [4] NOTE: I would like to see a study cited to back up this strength claim, although I don't doubt it.
WINDBREAK AND PRIVACY BARRIER: "Excellent as both a windbreak and privacy barrier." [4]

NATIVE TO: Probably India. [1] Whispering Winds Bamboo claims that it is native to southern China. [5] Bamboo Ranch writes, "Thought to have been brought from the Philippines." [9]
DESCRIPTION: Hawaiian Tropical Plants Nursery writes, "It is a seedling of a plant that was growing at Hirose Nursery in Hilo, Hawaii." [10] Tropical Bamboo Nursery writes, "Not officially identified as a cultivar of Bambusa oldhamii. It certainly resembles oldhamii." It gets a "little larger" than oldhamii. [10] "A timber bamboo, which was said to be brought to Hawaii from India." [1] "Very rare in the mainland of the United States. " [1] One comment on bambooweb's forum claims that it is named after Mr. Hirose of Hawaii, who "had a nursery" there. [6] Bamboo ranch writes, "Only known plants grow near Hilo, Hawai'i." [9]
- SHAPE: "Very straight and erect, tight clumper." [5] "Slightly arching near the top." [10]
- HEIGHT: "Very straight culms and reach 60'- 70' tall with thin, strong walls and long internodes." [1] Whispering Winds Bamboo lists it from 50-55' tall at maturity. [5] Hawaiian Tropical Plants Nursery list it to 65' tall. [10]
- RATE OF GROWTH: "Very fast." [9]
- CULMS [aka Poles]: "Green, turning gold" with age. [5] "When first planted in Hawaii it grew to 6” in diameter with thick walls. The original five plants all seeded and died, producing only one seed that germinated. From that seed, this current strain, now grows to 5” in diameter." [1] "Some of the culm sections are oval but most are round." [1] Culm walls are reported to be thicker and thus stronger than oldhamii. [6] Bamboo Ranch writes, "much harder than Bambusa oldhamii." [9]
- LEAVES: "Dark green, broad leaf, long flat hand." [5] Medium-sized. [10]
- FLOWERS: "Flowering occurred in the 1980s." [10]
- COLD HARDINESS: USDA zone 9A [1] to 11. Zone 9A is rated at 25F. [2] Thigpen Trail Bamboo in Georgia ranks it down to 21F. [8] The Bamboo Ranch in Tucson rates it down to a very low 16F. [9] NOTE: Time will tell, and we shall know its true cold hardiness in good time.
- WIND TOLERANCE: "Great." [5]
- HEAT TOLERANCE: Bamboo Ranch in Tucson writes, "Retains a dark green color on leaves even in desert heat." [9]
- PROPAGATION: Rhizome division, and most likely culm segments.
- ALSO: "Hardy," tolerates "wet, drought, and salt." [5]
NOTE: There is not too much information on this species across the web. The National gardening Association has an empty profile page for it. Dave's Garden profiles this variety on their website, bbut offers little additional information. They rate it down to USDA zone 8A [10F], which I would like to see to believe. 

More Details


Plant Form
Herbaceous Evergreen Perennial
70 feet

Hardiness Zone
9a to 11b
Root Hardiness
Ease of growth
Full Sun

Sources for acquiring

Tropical Bamboo Nursery, Loxahatchee, FL [at the time of this writing, they were selling three gallon pots for 35 dollars, which is a bargain for such a very rare, striking, giant timber bamboo] 


[1] Tropical Bamboo Nursery, Loxahatchee, FL [tropicalbamboo.com] 
[2] USDA 
[3] Dave's Garden [davesgarden.com] 
[4] sharonsplants.com 
[5] Whispering Winds Bamboo 
[6] bambooweb.info 
[7] htbg.com [Hawaiian Tropical Bamboo Garden] 
[8] thigpentrailbamboo.com of Georgia 
[9] Bamboo Ranch [in Tucson, Arizona] 
[10] hawaiiantropicalplants.com 
Last Updated: November 18, 2017

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