The more you read and learn about bamboo, the harder it gets to choose your favorite species. With more than 1,500 varieties to consider, the selection can be truly daunting. But there are certain types of bamboo that really stand out.

Bambusa textilis is one of the most popular species of ornamental bamboo among gardeners and landscapers. Also called Weaver’s Bamboo, this tightly clumping variety displays beautiful foliage and is easy to contain. Tall and elegant, B. textilis provides an excellent hedge or centerpiece in subtropical climates, but is also relatively cold-hardy. The subspecies ‘Gracilis’, or Graceful Bamboo, is considered one of the most attractive species of all.

This article is part of an ongoing series about different species and cultivars of bamboo. To learn more, check out some of these other detailed articles.

Characteristics of Bambusa textilis

Weaver’s Bamboo, or Bambusa textilis, has all the best that the genus Bambusa has to offer. Not only is it a non-invasive clumper, but its clumps are unusually dense and compact. This makes the plant easier to contain and control than most other bamboos, while also giving the plant a more orderly and aesthetically pleasing aspect. The total clump diameter can reach about 8 to 10 feet. The density of the clump makes it especially effective as a privacy screen.

It’s not quite a timber bamboo, but in ideal conditions, the culms can grow about 40 feet tall, and up to about 2 inches in diameter. In cooler climates, they might only get 20 or 30 feet high. Young shoots have an almost powdery blue color, which quickly fades to light green. The poles are very straight and upright, but the wispy, delicate leaves create an elegant, cascading effect.

Bambusa textilis Weavers bamboo
Bambusa textilis or Weaver’s Bamboo

The inconspicuous nodal joints add further finesse to the poles, making them very smooth. This also results in long, even fibers when the poles are split. Such fibers are easier to work with, hence the name, Weaver’s Bamboo. It’s not widely cultivated for this purpose, but this variety is quite suitable for light crafts and basketry. The smooth poles make perfect curtain rods as well.

Another notable feature that gardener’s appreciate is the cold-tolerence of B. textilis. As a subtropical genus, Bambusas are somewhat hardier than tropical varieties like Dendrocalamus or Gigantochloa. But even so, they usually can’t survive below about 20º F. This species, however, is hardy to about 10 or 12º F, or minus 12º Celsius. So you can’t take it to Minnesota, but it will be happy throughout most of the Southeast as well as the West Coast all the way up to Vancouver.

Varieties of Bambusa textilis

And as if that weren’t enough, Bambusa textilis has at least three common cultivars to make your bamboo gardening even more satisfying.

B. textilis ‘Gracilis’: Graceful Bamboo

Gracilis means slender or graceful, and refers to the delicate nature of the leaves. Sometimes called Slender Weaver’s Bamboo, this species is particularly popular in Australia. There is little if anything that distinguishes the Gracilis cultivar from the original B. textilis species.

B. textilis ‘Mutabilis’: Emerald Bamboo

Also very similar to the original Weaver’s, Emerald Bamboo has slightly larger and somewhat darker green culms, as the name would imply. With its larger size, this cultivar may be slightly less hardy, down to about 15º F.

B. textilis ‘Dwarf’: Dwarf Weaver’s

For the smaller garden, Dwarf Weaver’s is an excellent option. It has most of the same characteristics of the original, but only grows to a maximum of 20 feet. Great choice if you’re trying not to hit the power lines. It’s not quite as stately, upright and impressive as the original, but a great choice for medium-sized, non-invasive bamboo.

Bamboo subtext

If you enjoy reading about the many varieties of bamboo, how to grow them, and how to use them, then you’ve come to the right place. Bambu Batu could be the most extensive and well-researched bamboo resource on the internet. We’ve been in the business since 2006, and today we work with bamboo growers and producers all over the world.

Bambusa multiplex Hornaday
Bambusa multiplex is another attractive variety of clumping bamboo. (Photo by Fred Hornaday)

To learn more about this fascinating field of botany and ecology, take a look at some of these popular posts.