Stems 14 to 18 ft long, about 3⁄4 in. in diameter, very hollow, yellowish green, except at the joints, which are purplish; the outer stems of vigorous plants growing in the open arch outwards and downwards to the ground. Stem-sheaths striped with close lines of purple and suffused with purple when young. Leaves 2 to 5 in. long, 1⁄3 to 7⁄8 in. wide, abruptly tapered at the base, slender-pointed, bright green above, glaucous beneath, downy only at the base of the midrib beneath; toothed on one margin; secondary veins four to seven each side the midrib; leaf-sheath purplish, with two clusters of bristles at the top.
Native of China; introduced to France about 1846, and a very elegant, vigorous, and useful bamboo. It is liable to be confounded with P. bambusoides and with P. flexuosa, but the former is well distinguished by its mottled stem-sheaths, its stouter stems, and larger leaves, whilst P. flexuosa is altogether a smaller plant whose old stems are often almost black. There are also two little, fringed, ear-like projections at the top of the stem-sheath that are missing in P. flexuosa. P. viridi-glaucescens requires an isolated position, when it will in time form a graceful mass at least 25 ft in diameter, with pendulous plumes of foliage. It spreads at the root with some freedom, and is easily propagated by offsets. It never appears to have flowered under cultivation.