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A dwarf, rapidly spreading bamboo, 2 to 5 ft high as a rule, with a creeping rhizome; stems very slender, and with a minute hollow up the centre; stem-sheaths purplish at first. Leaves bright green on both sides, 2 to 7 in. long, 1⁄3 to 3⁄4 in. wide, rounded at the base, slender-pointed; secondary veins three to five each side the midrib; leaf-sheaths with two clusters of bristles at the top.
A native of Japan, long grown in gardens as A. fortunei (‘green form’). The true A. fortunei (now A. variegata) is well marked by its white-variegated leaves. I am, however, unable to see any real distinction between it and the Bambusa nagashima of French nurserymen; nor is there much to choose between these two and A. chrysantha, except the occasional variegation of the last. A. humilis, without possessing any special merit, forms pleasant masses of greenery from midsummer onwards.
It flowered for the first time in 1964 at the tips of a few stems and has continued to do so since, but most of the stems remain in the vegetative state (1969).