Bamboo seeds are brown rubies
Dokmai Garden VIP card holder Barbara from Germany visited us yesterday. At lunch she displayed a wonderful collection of bamboo seeds. I felt like a jeweler at a Burmese ruby market – bamboo seeds are rare and expensive!
She graciously shared her collection with us, a most generous gift as I estimate the seeds are worth ten thousand Baht. She had bought them from the German seed trader ‘Exotic Plants‘.
A comprehensive sowing instruction I am going to follow is found here: http://www.guaduabamboo.com/growing-bamboo-from-seeds.html
My only bamboo book, mostly on temperate species though, is Ted Jordan Meredith’s (2001) ‘Bamboos for Gardens’ (Timber Press). Dokmai Dogma readers are welcome to share their book suggestions.
Please remember that tropical bamboos are often docile clump-formers, not aggressive runners like many temperate bamboos. A temperate runner like Phyllostachys nigra will not thrive well in this climate, and so cause no problem and can only be grown in a shady and moist corner of your monsoon garden where its black culms adds to the cooling sensation.
Why would you plant bamboo seeds? In many cases that is the only option to get a certain species, since clumps with soil may not be legal to transfer across political borders. Secondly, it is a joy to follow a plant from its birth. Thirdly, you end up with a new genotype, a new clone, which nobody else has. Fourthly such a clone may live for many decades.
I keep you posted about their progress!
Text & Photo: Eric Danell
(Precipitation report: no measurable rain at all for two weeks, hitherto only 7 mm of rain in October. The dry season has begun with full force one month too early. Due to El Nino Chiang Mai should not expect a decent rainy period for at least another eight months, spare an occasional shower.)