seeds of Phyllostachys nigra, Black Bamboo

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Phyllostachys nigra, Black Bamboo seeds

Phyllostachys nigra belongs to the family of the Poaceae. P. nigra is also known as Black Bamboo. It is native to China, but it was brought to Europe already in 1923. In Europe it is a popular ornamental plant.
P. nigra reaches a height of about 3 to 10 m. In China it can reach even 12 m under good environmental conditions. The stalk can get 3,5 cm in diameter. It is green in the first year and gets black points in the second year. In the third year the stalk is covered with point so that the stalk appears pure black.
The leaves are dark green, simple, longish and get 3 to 4 cm long and 1 cm wide. They stand at the very end of the branches. The dark green leaves in contrast to the black stalk give Phyllostachys nigra its special extraordinary look.
The flowers stand in inflorescences that one describes as spikelet. The seeds are small and longish.
The shoots can be eaten, but they do not taste very good. Black Bamboo builds stolones that should be stop when cultivated in the garden. This can be done with a ring that goes down into the ground to stop the roots from expanding.

P. nigra is winter hardy and can stand temperatures down to minus 21°C. But one should protect the bamboo nevertheless over winter.
P. nigra needs a substrate that is not rich in nutrients. The seeds should be put in warm water for 1 or 2 days before planting. After that they should be only covered slightly with substrate. The substrate should be kept moist. At a temperature of about 30°C during daytime and 27°C during nighttime germination occurs after 2 to 3 weeks.

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