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A striking bamboo to use as a specimen plant, this naturally forms a dramatic tall, fairly upright shape. As the finger-thick canes mature, they become glossy jet black, showing up well against the frieze of airy evergreen foliage. Plants look good growing with shrubs, particularly evergreens in a large border or foliage garden, but can also be grown as a single clump in a lawn. Bamboos associate particularly well with water where they make striking reflections, although they do not like wet or waterlogged soil. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Colourful bark, Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Skill level: Experienced
Time to divide plants: March to May
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