Running bamboo are those that spread easily. Running bamboos can be very aggressive, taking over large areas. In addition, once established spreading bamboo can be very difficult to completely remove. Running bamboo should be chosen carefully and for areas where it can be contained.
Hibanobambusa tranquilans ‘Shiroshima’ – An aggressive runner that is best in containers. It can reach 15 ft tall with canes that are 1 in. in diameter. They like part shade but can tolerate full sun with good watering. Nice wide variegated leaves.
Indocalamus tessellatus – A relatively small bamboo with large leaves. It is about 6 feet tall with leaves up to 2 feet long. Canes are generally less then 0.5-inch in diameter. Prefers part to full shade. More easily contained then most running bamboos.
Phyllostachys atrovaginata – A vigorous grower that tolerates year-round or seasonal wet/boggy soil. Can reach 30 ft tall. Canes are about 2.5 inches and have a sandalwood-like fragrance when rubbed. It likes full sun and it is edible.
Phyllostachys aurea – Golden bamboo is a very popular variety in the Pacific Northwest. Yellowish canes reach about 20 feet tall and 1 inch in diameter. It likes full sun and is edible.
Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Alata’ – A large bamboo that gets to 25 feet tall. Green 2 in. diameter canes have a zig-zag appearance on lower canes. It likes full sun and is edible.
Phyllostachys bissetii – A very hardy type of bamboo that would be suitable for protected sites in Eastern Oregon. Very dark green variety. It reaches a height of 25 feet with canes that are 1 in. in diameter. It does best in full sun and is edible.
Phyllostachys edulis – Canes up to 3.5 inches in diameter can reach 40 feet tall. It does best in full sun and is edible.
Phyllostachys nigra – Beautiful black canes that are 2 inches in diameter and about 40 feet tall. A striking specimen. It does best in full sun. It is edible.
Phyllostachys vivax ‘Aureocaulis’ – Green canes with yellow groove. It is a timber bamboo that can reach upwards of 50 feet tall, with canes that are 4.5 inches in diameter. It does best in full sun. It is edible.
Phyllostachys vivax ‘Huangwenzhu’ – Yellow canes with green groove. A timber bamboo that reaches 50 feet tall with canes that are 4.5 inches in diameter. It does best in full sun and is edible.
Additional Note: Timber Bamboo is extremely aggressive. It should only be planted if there is adequate space as it spreads rapidly.
Clumping bamboos are a much wiser choice. Though they spread a little with time, like other shrubs, they will not take-over whole areas. As they are not aggressive they are slower to reach their mature size.
Borinda angustissima – A dainty looking bamboo with very tight clumps that reach 18 feet tall with canes that are about 1 in. in diameter. The sheaths of the new canes are a deep red-purple. Tolerates sun to partial shade.
Chusquea culeo – Tight clumps with huge feather plumes of foliage. It reaches about 12 feet on average and unlike most bamboos its 1.5-inch canes are solid wood. It grows well in sun or shade.
Fargesia dracocephala – Dense, nearly weeping habit. A relatively small bamboo that reaches about 9 feet with canes that are 0.5-inch in diameter. It does best in full sun to partial shade.
Fargesia murieliae – An umbrella bamboo with a weeping habit. Small delicate looking leaves on canes that reach 12 feet tall and 0.5-inch in diameter. It does best in full to partial shade.
Fargesia robusta – Erect growing bamboo that reaches 18 feet tall with canes that are about 1 in. in diameter. Olive green stems and leaves. Grows well in sun or shade.
Fargesia rufa – Smaller bamboo reaching about 8 feet tall with canes that are about 1 inch in diameter. It has dark canes with orange-red sheaths. A prolific grower with a delicate weeping habit.
Thamnocalamus tessellatus – A strong upright bamboo, it reaches about 16 feet with canes that are 1 inch in diameter. The canes are hard and useful building and fashioning tools. It does best in full sun.
Yushania maculata – A tall bamboo that reaches up to 20 feet with a graceful habit. It’s green canes are powdered with white. It is more aggressive then most clumping types. Its canes have a diameter of 0.5 inch. It does best in partial to full shade.
Download a complete sheet on bamboo, including a general reference chart.