About nineteen years ago, I planted eight Aussie seedlings from the last world wide flowering of moso bamboo. Just as well they were seedlings: moso is a notoriously bad propagator. It just doesn’t like being cloned like a begonia, though the false idea persists that any bamboo will grow readily from plant material stuck in the soil.
Three of the pots survived neglect, tenants, wildlife and my complete inexperience. Thanks to the accidental protection of lantana, moso started to multiply, and showed signs of belonging here. The idle experiment became a source of annual excitement, as each year newer and larger culms would appear in the spring.
It was when I began to live here full-time and resolved the biggest problem, wallaby damage, that the stands joined together and became a grove. Now the grove is starting to look like a forest.
Here is one of the original pots, posing atop a very old and small early culm, not far from where one of the successful seedlings was planted out.
At present, my moso is on the march, colonising areas where it sent pioneers in the previous few years.
It’s also sending up new giants in the dark centre of the grove.
And if you are wondering what happened with that first shoot I found in the wake of the Great Dust Storm, here it is branching out nicely. It’s taken under seven weeks to grow to its full height then form branches.
This is only a scrawny pioneer. Yet the new giants on the cooler side of the grove will achieve their full height, as well as their branch formation, in a similar amount of time.
Such is life with a world champion carbon muncher!