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A bamboo of tufted habit, spreading by short rhizomes; stems cylindrical, up to 25 ft high and up to 3 or 4 in. thick, dark green, smooth, with at first prominent, hairy joints, pruinose below them, thick-walled; branches three at a joint, much divided and slender above; stem-sheaths soon falling, tough, sparsely hairy, or smooth and hairless except for a dense, conspicuous band of golden-brown or dark brown hairs at the base, narrowed upward and truncate at the tip, bearing there a linear or linear-lanceolate, sharply pointed blade, and two lateral auricles fringed with long, rigid, smooth bristles. Leaves clustered; blades narrowly lanceolate, 2 to 8 in. long, 1⁄3 to 11⁄4 in. wide, very finely pointed, narrowed at the base, green, with four to eight pairs of secondary nerves, prominently tessellate; leaf-sheaths ciliate, their terminal auricles fringed with rather long, rigid, erect bristles.
Native of China but long cultivated in Japan, where it is used as a hedge plant and for ornamental purposes. It is said to be a troublesome weed in Honolulu, dominating many acres of once native vegetation. It is distinguished from other species of Arundinaria by the dense band of brown hairs at the joints of the stems and bases of the sheaths. It is cultivated in the Temperate House at Kew and would only be suitable for the open in the mildest districts.