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Bamboo Scientific Name, Genera and Cultivars

When it comes to versatile and sustainable plants, bamboo takes the center stage. With its elegant beauty and remarkable strength, bamboo has become a popular choice for garden enthusiasts worldwide. But what exactly is bamboo scientific name?

This brief article addresses the bamboo scientific name, genera and cultivars; and explores the comon bamboo plants in the UK.

Scientific Name and Genera

The scientific name for bamboo is Bambusoideae, which is a subfamily of the grass family (Poaceae). Bamboo belongs to the tribe Bambuseae, and within this tribe, there are over 1,400 different species of bamboo. The genera commonly found in the United Kingdom include Phyllostachys, Fargesia, and Pleioblastus.

Each genus has its own distinct characteristics, making them suitable for various purposes in the garden. Some are running and others are clump-forming bamboo plants.

Click on the links to find out about the bamboo plants in our collection that grows in the UK, including other sub-tropical and temperate countries.

Common Cultivars in the UK

In the United Kingdom, some of the popular bamboo cultivars include Phyllostachys aurea (Golden bamboo), Fargesia murielae (Umbrella bamboo), and Pleioblastus agenteostriatus (Variegated Bamboo).

These cultivars offer unique visual appeal, growth patterns, and adaptability to different climates, making them ideal choices for gardeners.

Background of Bamboo Plants

Bamboo is an ancient plant that has been cultivated and utilised by humans for thousands of years. It is native to various regions across Asia, including China, India, and Japan, where it holds cultural significance and is deeply embedded in traditional practices.

Bamboo is known for its rapid growth and remarkable strength, capable of reaching maturity in just a few years and having tensile strength comparable to steel.

Uses of Bamboo Plants in the Garden and at Home

1. Privacy Screens and Hedges:

Bamboo’s tall, dense growth makes it an excellent choice for creating privacy screens or hedges in the garden. It provides an effective barrier, shielding your garden from unwanted views or creating secluded areas.

2. Ornamental Features:

Bamboo’s graceful, swaying canes and lush foliage make it a striking addition to any garden. It adds a touch of elegance and a sense of tranquility, particularly in Japanese-inspired or tropical-themed gardens.

3. Erosion Control:

With their extensive root systems, certain bamboo species are effective in preventing soil erosion. Planting bamboo on slopes or near water bodies can help stabilise the soil and protect against erosion.

4. Container Planting:

Some bamboo species are well-suited for container planting, making them a popular choice for patio gardens or small spaces. They can add a touch of greenery and create a calming atmosphere in urban environments.

Grow bamboo in planters UK - Garden Bamboo Plants
Bamboo species are well-suited for container planting | Phyllostachys vivax

Origin and Benefits as Garden Plants

Bamboo’s origins can be traced back to ancient times in Asia and the South Pacific, where it has played a crucial role in providing food, shelter, and various other resources for communities.

As a garden plant, bamboo offers several benefits:

1. Sustainability:

Bamboo is one of the most sustainable plants on the planet. It grows rapidly, requires minimal resources, and can be harvested without causing harm to the plant or the environment.

2. Low Maintenance:

Bamboo is generally low maintenance, requiring minimal care once established. It is relatively resistant to pests and diseases, making it an ideal choice for beginners or those looking for fuss-free gardening.

3. Versatility:

From dwarf varieties to towering giants, bamboo offers a wide range of sizes, colors, and growth habits. This versatility allows gardeners to choose the perfect bamboo species for their specific needs and preferences.

4. Environmental Benefits:

Bamboo plants contribute to a healthier environment by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They also help improve air quality, reduce noise pollution, and provide habitat for wildlife.

Bamboo prevents landslide and soil erosion
Erosion control

Some Species are Invasive

For beginners venturing into the world of bamboo, it’s important to note that some bamboo species have vigorous growth and can spread rapidly.

To prevent potential issues, consider using barriers or selecting clumping varieties that have non-invasive growth habits.


Bamboo Scientific Name

Bamboo, scientifically known as Bambusoideae, is a remarkable plant that offers beauty, versatility, and sustainability in the garden.

With its extensive range of cultivars, bamboo can serve various purposes, including privacy screens, ornamental features, erosion control, and container planting.

Its origins in Asia and the Pacific have shaped its rich history and cultural significance, while its benefits as a garden plant include sustainability, low maintenance, versatility, and environmental advantages.

1 thought on “Bamboo Scientific Name, Genera and Cultivars”

  1. Isabelle Colvin (FRANCE)

    Bamboo lacks a single scientific name as it’s a vast group within the grass family Poaceae. Over 1,000 species exist across 91 genera, with “Fargesia” being one. “Frosty Bamboo” is a cultivar, a cultivated variety within a specific Fargesia species.

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