Phyllostachys nigra, Black Bamboo, is one of the most popular bamboo variety in the gardening world. Originally from China and Taiwan, this bamboo has new green stems or culms in the spring, and gradually over two years these stems turn ebony black. The new shoots are edible. The black glossy culms can be used in making screens and furniture, maintaining their black character when dried properly.
Under ideal conditions, black bamboo will grow up to 25 feet with culms up to 2inches in diameter. In our coastal climate, most black bamboo reaches a height of about 15 feet with culms of 1 ½ inches. Plant black bamboo in your landscape in a sunny place, somewhat protected from the harsh summer winds. Black bamboo is a slowly running bamboo, so plant it where you have room to watch it spread. It can also be used as a hedge or planted in a large container as a striking focal point.