Fargesias are medium to tall bamboos with pachymorph rhizomes. Most species are clumping bamboos, with the exception of Yushania, which has elongated rhizome necks, resulting in spread culms. The species are an excellent choice as specimen or as hedges. The most hardy species are found in the genus Fargesia, while other species are less hardy in Western Europe.
The taxonomy and naming is very complicated and controversial. More than one name is often used to described the same bamboo. The names we use are at present accepted by most taxonomists and are also used in official lists and horticultural trade.
Fargesia species and cultivars make ideal garden bamboos in Western Europe. Their natural habitat is in mountaineous areas in China, where the climate is humid and cold, and they grow as understory, mostly in shade. This is why they can also be planted in shady conditions in our gardens. The species and forms are also useful as pot or terrace plants, and contrary to other species in pots, which have to be protected in winter, some of these bamboos do not require much protection.
Until recently the choice was restricted to F. murieliae and F. nitida, but following the introduction of many new types from homeland China (e.g. F. robusta, F. robusta 'Pingwu', F. dracocephala, F. denudata, and F. Rufa) many more will be available in the near future. During the mid 1990s, Fargesia murieliae flowered at large scale in Europe allowing new and interesting selections to be made.