A modern reference to temperate woody plants, including updated content from this site and much new material, can be found at Trees and Shrubs Online.

Arundinaria marmorea (Mitf.) Makino

Modern name

Chimonobambusa marmorea (Mitford) Makino


Chimonobambusa marmorea (Mitf.) Makino; Bambusa marmorea Mitf.; Arundinaria kokantsik Kurz

Stems round, slender, solid, erect, 3 to 5 ft high; purplish green, from 18 to 14 in. thick at the base, almost hidden the first season by the clasping, persistent sheaths, which are at first purplish, mottled conspicuously with pinkish grey, turning grey-white with age. Branches erect, normally three at each joint, forming a dense but elegant, cylindrical mass of foliage; the branches, however, do not develop until the second year, the tops of the slender, whip-like, leafless stems of the first year standing out above the mass of foliage throughout the winter. Leaves bright green, 2 to 5 in. long, 38 in. to 12 in. wide, with slender, awl-like points; four or five secondary nerves each side the midrib; margins set with minute bristles; leaf-sheath terminated by a tuft of pale curly bristles and edged with small hairs.

Native of Japan; introduced to Ireland in 1889. A very pretty, well-marked bamboo, distinguished by the marbled stem-sheaths, the stems remaining unbranched the first season, the absence of a pipe or hollow up the centre, and by the apex of the leaf being constricted about 12 in. from the tip. It spreads very rapidly by underground suckers, forming luxuriant masses, but is liable to injury by winter cold.

Flowering has been observed in most years on a few stems in well-established clumps, the first recorded being in 1909; the dark purple ovaries and developing seeds are exposed and protrude between the gaping lemma and palea, but soon fall.

cv. ‘Variegata’. – Leaves variegated with white; cultivated in Japan (Chimonobambusa m. cv. Variegata Ohwi; C. m. var. variegata Makino).



Other species in the genus