Toot, Toot, Tootsik - Hello!

Although Al Jolson introduced the song, Toot, Toot, Tootsie, Goodbye back in 1927 in the movie The Jazz Singer, I find myself singing "Toot, Toot, Tootsik, Hello!" whenever I pass Sinobambusa Tootsik 'Albostriata' in the nursery.

Tootsik is a slow-spreading running bamboo with beautiful variegated leaves.  It has an upright stature and is relatively short, topping out at less that 20-feet tall.

The beautiful variegated leaves of Tootsik Bamboo are the first thing most people notice about this slow-spreading running bamboo

Its small size, attractive leaves and upright growth pattern make Tootsik is an excellent choice for a container plant.  It also does well when planted outside in a partially shady location where this ornamental makes an eye-catching addition to the landscape.

Tootsik is a slow spreader that is easy to control by mowing.  It tends to form 'clumps' as it slowly grows in its preferred location - a semi-shady area.
Tootsik is cold-hardy to 10-degrees with canes that grow to be about 1.5" diameter.

Grow your own flute-making and building materials

Few things are as peacefully inviting as a gentle breeze blowing through a bamboo forest.  While mountainsides covered in giant bamboo are not part of the American landscape, by installing a few Madake Japanese Timber Bamboo plants, you can create a miniature version of a bamboo forest in your own backyard.  

A four-year-old grove of Madake - Japanese Timber Bamboo

Not only does Madake (Phyllostachys bambusoides Madake) Japanese Timber Bamboo make a serene and lovely grove, the thick, straight canes - 2 to 6-inch diameter and up to 60-feet tall - are one of the best bamboos to use for building projects.

The thick white line that encircles each culm section on Madake's dark green canes adds to the attractiveness of this beautiful and highly functional running bamboo
Instrument-makers also favor Madake for flutes and didgeridoos because of its exceptionally strong, thick-walled canes.

A Shakuhachi flute made from Madake bamboo by flute-maker RyuzanTakahashi (photo by Brucehuebner.com)

At Beautiful Bamboo, our popular Designer Quality, Polished Bamboo Poles come from domestically-grown Madake Bamboo.

Beautiful Madake bamboo canes are available in a variety of sizes on our website
Madake Japanese Timber Bamboo is a running bamboo, which means it is not an appropriate choice for all landscapes.  We control spread of the underground rhizomes by mowing a swath of about 20' around the grove but running bamboos can also be controlled by installing a rhizome barrier.


Introducing Two Striking New Varieties of Vivax

Vivax is our favorite running bamboo! A grove of beautiful VIVAX TIMBER BAMBOO (Phyllostachys vivax) looks like the type of place where you'd find a panda nibbling away on leaves and shoots.

Sun shining through a mature grove of vivax timber bamboo

For the past four years we have been propagating two new varieties of this most special bamboo - GREEN-GOLD VIVAX TIMBER BAMBOO (P.vivax huangwenzhu) and GOLD-GREEN VIVAX TIMBER BAMBOO (P.vivax aureocaulis)

Like Phyllostachys vivax, the two new cultivars also produce tall (30' to 70'), large-diameter (3 to 6 inch) canes with black rings around each culm section node.  The difference is that while Phyllostachys vivax has beautiful solid green canes that fade as they age to a paler whitish green, Green-gold vivax produces green canes with vertical gold stripes while Gold-green vivax has golden canes with vertical green stipes.

Gold-green vivax has golden canes with vertical green stripes of irregular widths 

Green-gold vivax has bright green canes with vertical golden stripes of irregular widths

All three varieties of Vivax spread slowly until well established, then shoot more vigorously after several years to become wonderful open groves of huge canes.

Our grandchildren enjoy playing in our mature groves of vivax timber bamboo

Our original Phyllostachys vivax grove, planted in 2000, has been easy to control with regular mowing and trimming around the area where we want it to stay. Young shoots of all vivax varieties are particularly good to eat when cooked.

New shoots of P.vivax are tasty as well as beautiful
A close-up of the pretty colors of an emerging P.vivax culm 

We have found that inter-planting two or more varieties of vivax in one location results in a most attractive and interesting grove.  

A four-year-old grove of green-gold and gold-green vivax

If you are looking to create a peaceful, serene setting in your landscape, consider installing an assortment of vivax timber bamboos.  One day soon you too can sit back and enjoy the beauty!  

Vivax can create an inviting place to rest

Birds like bamboo too!


Bamboo flute making workshop

Beautiful Bamboo employee, Ryan Stauffer, loves bamboo almost as he loves making music.

Music and bamboo affectionado, Ryan Stauffer

Ryan combines his two interests by creating a variety of musical instruments out of bamboo including didgeridoos and several sizes of flutes.

Ryan playing one of his long flutes

Ryan recently shared his skills with a group of homeschooling students who attended a bamboo flute-making class at Beautiful Bamboo nursery.

What better place to learn bamboo flute-making skills than in the middle of a grove of bamboo! 

It was a busy afternoon but much was accomplished.  By the time the workshop ended, each attendee had made his or her own bamboo flute and was ready to take their beautiful new flutes home to practice.

Ryan will be conducting another bamboo flute-making workshop at Beautiful Bamboo nursery this spring.  Dates and time to be announced shortly.  The fee for the workshop, which includes all materials and is open to all ages, is $40 per person.

To reserve a spot in the next workshop please call 352-429-2425.