Florida Bamboo: The New Landscaping
Every time I hear the word “bamboo,” I relate it to a relaxing, shaded atmosphere, usually surrounded by water.
Grown in areas with abundant rainfall in hot, humid, lowland tropical environments, these 30 to 50 foot tall timber grasses are grown as collections by Florida horticulturists. Luckily our FAPC member Marc Ellenby at LNB Farms is one of them, and I had the privilege to tour his groves.
Expecting to see just green stalks all over the place, I was fascinated by the shades and varieties found. From the most desirable black and shiny Bambusa Iako or ‘Timor Black’ to the attractive green stripes on yellow–green culms of the Bambusa dolichomerithalla, bamboo is a new trend here to stay.
Marc and Kiki’s overview of their bamboo fields is that the potential uses of bamboo in Florida have yet to be realized. The plant may be used to visually screen undesirable areas on sites and provides a cooling shade canopy. It may be used in erosion control and by farmers and ranchers for wind reduction in many areas of the state. Marginal lands may be brought into cultivation, and the plants are also useful in wastewater and sludge utilization.
The Ellenbys also convey that large industrial and residential tracts are being developed in Florida rapidly, and visual sound and wind barriers will be important. The tropical appeal of bamboo will supplement palms and foliage plants in the Florida landscape.
Are you planning to design landscaping for your swimming pool area or back yard? Grow some elegant bamboo shoots along your fence or next to a waterfall fountain for that relaxing atmosphere that I always envision.
Now currently growing more than fifteen distinct bamboo species of the tropical clumping types and the development of windbreak technologies, LNB Farms is the place to find your bamboo. Contact them at (305) 345-6650 or LNBgroves@msn.com
Share with us your experiences with growing bamboo.