Stems 12 to 24 ft high, round, very hollow, from 1 to 11⁄4 in. diameter at the base, the outer ones arching outwards, with slowly speading creeping rhizomes. Stem-sheaths rather persistent, the largest 8 to 10 in. long, purplish when young, hairy at the margins, very glazed within. Leaves narrow-oblong, broadly wedge-shaped at the base, with long, tapered points, 3 to 12 in. long, 1⁄3 to 11⁄4 in. wide, vivid green above, glaucous on one side of the midrib beneath, rather greener the other; secondary veins four to seven each side the midrib.
Native of China; introduced to France by M. Simon in 1862. A very vigorous bamboo, which spreads rapidly by means of its underground suckers, and, with the exception of A. fastuosa and A. gigantea, the tallest of our hardy sorts. It resembles the former, under which the distinctions are pointed out. A. simonii flowered all over the country between 1903 and 1905. For many years previous to those dates odd stems had flowered, and occasionally borne seed without any damage to the plants, but then came the flowering of the entire plants, none of which ever recovered. In gardens now A. simonii is only known by plants raised from the seed then obtained. These plants have been flowering on a few stems since 1948 and are continuing to flower in 1967, but there has so far been no general flowering such as took place in 1903-5.
cv. ‘Variegata’. – Some of the leaves striped with white, the leaves so marked being very small and narrow. The full-sized green leaves do not differ from those of the type. This variety has not yet flowered, except partially, in this country. It is of little value and tends to revert to the green form. (A. simonii var. variegata Hook. in Bot. Mag., t. 7146; A. simonii var. striata Mitf.; A. simonii var. albo-striata Bean; Bambusa albo-striata Hort.)