Phyllostachys Species, Fairyland Bamboo, Fishpole Bamboo, Golden Bamboo, Monk's Belly Bamboo

Phyllostachys aurea

Family: Poaceae (poh-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Phyllostachys (fy-lo-STAK-iss) (Info)
Species: aurea (AW-re-uh) (Info)
Synonym:Bambusa aurea


Ornamental Grasses and Bamboo

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Grown for foliage



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Unknown - Tell us

Other details:

May be a noxious weed or invasive

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Adana, Adana(2 reports)

Lower Lake, California

Palm Springs, California

Thousand Oaks, California

Clifton, Colorado

Hinesville, Georgia

Parsons, Kansas

Feeding Hills, Massachusetts

Hulbert, Oklahoma

Tulsa, Oklahoma

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Easton, Pennsylvania

Clarksville, Tennessee

Sweetwater, Tennessee

White House, Tennessee

Fort Worth, Texas

Spring Branch, Texas

Mukilteo, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 3, 2020, RandyAllen from White House, TN wrote:

Hi, Ive been studying and growing bamboos since 1966. I first planted P. aurea in the early 70s, in Nashville TN. The congested and contorted lower internodes of this species can be very interesting and beautiful. Deep in the forest it can be dark green, smooth, and shiny surface, yet on perimeter or exposed canes the color is yellowish tan because of sun exposure. Good quality wood and strong taper are common with this species.
Negatives might be winter kill, or at least winter damage, in Tennessee USA at least. Which makes the general look of the grove unattractive. It seems to be a typical running bamboo, no better-no worse than most in the Phyllostachys genus. Phyllostachys is by far the most common of all bamboo genera found in the eastern USA. Ill try to post... read more


On Oct 31, 2016, Aleco from Onsy,
Norway (Zone 7a) wrote:

Growing this in a naturally formed giant's cauldron on our property where it cannot escape. Looks amazing all winter, and gives us a fresh look of summer because of its evergreen leaves. Evergreen around here equals conifers, so I am very happy with this plant!


On Mar 29, 2016, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is among the species that give running bamboos a bad name.

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council has listed this as a Category ll invasive. It's also considered invasive in Hawaii. It has naturalized in 18 states, mostly in the southeastern US, but as far north as Pennsylvania.


On Sep 30, 2014, james78070 from SPRING BRANCH, TX wrote:

Please note that even though I am giving this bamboo a 'Positive' I believe it should only be planted in certain environments and or if enough care is taking to keep it in check. Phyllostachys Aurea is considered the poster child for bad boy bamboos - at least in the southern US. Please consider though that this giant grass is only doing what it is programmed to do - which is to monopolize as much of the idea growing area its roots can find.

This bamboo is extremely successful for several reasons. (1) Once established it is very drought tolerant and can take the dry 100 degree summer heat in the southern US. (2) it can take winter freezes without ANY damage - not even leaf drop in my area which bottoms out in the low to mid teens. (3) Although it enjoys rich soil it will ... read more


On Jan 21, 2014, Rickwebb from Downingtown, PA wrote:

This huge running bamboo is very rampant growing and rapidly spreads all over the place. Its broken twigs can flow downstream, root, and start another colony. I've seen underground stems send up shoots more than 30 feet from the colony in spring. When plants get big and old, many stems fall over and it gets really messy. I've volunteered at cutting down and digging up this noxious, invasive weed species from East Asia a number of times in southeast Pennsylvania land preserves, trying to reestablish native plant communities. If one really wants a temperate species bamboo, one should buy the Fountain Bamboo, Fagesia nitida, that only gets to 12 ft high and stays as a clump.


On May 20, 2012, Carol_Merritt from Spring Hill, FL wrote:

My neighbor planted 5 of these plants (uncontained) on the property line of a residential lot consisting of .33 of an acre. The U.S.D.A. states that one Golden Bamboo plant can spread 9.3 miles. We spent several years digging rhizomes in the hot Florida sun in a desperate attempt to keep it from encroaching onto our property. This is the most invasive, destructive plant I have ever come across in my lifetime. We finally installed a 75 foot steel reinforced concrete barrier at a cost of 3,000 dollars. My husband injured his knee in the process and required surgery. It is now a year later and he still has problems with the knee. This is the fastest growing plant in the world. The bamboo has grown to within 10 feet of the end of the barrier. We foresee digging rhizomes again next spring. We ... read more


On Jan 17, 2011, nativelyeager from Brooksville, FL wrote:

Phyllostachys aurea has naturalized (a misleading term: there is nothing natural about it because it was moved here by humans) and is invasive in Central and Northern FL. It is listed as FLEPPC (FL Exotic Pest Plant Council) Category II, meaning it has increased in abundance or frequency but has not yet altered Florida native plant communities to the extent of Category I species. It will become ranked Category I when ecological damage is documented. If you do not live next to a natural area or to neighbors who might freak out when it invades their property, you might still want this obnoxious-though-beautiful plant. It will just take a lot of your time to keep it in check, even if invasion elsewhere is not an issue.


On Dec 27, 2006, frostweed from Josephine, Arlington, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Golden Bamboo, Fishpole Bamboo Phyllostachys aurea is naturalized in Texas and other States and is considered an invasive plant in Texas.


On Mar 27, 2004, palmbob from Acton, CA (Zone 8b) wrote:

This was one of my first bamboo, when I didn't know any better. Since then I have planted ove 30 species of bamboo in my old yard, but this is only one i have regretted. This is one of the most commonly grown bamboo in cultivation- easy to find and cheap. It is easy to grow, too...a bit too easy. It it a runner of the number one calliber. It is SO invasive it's scary. I planted this at one corner of the yard a ways from everything thinking no problems (had over 1/2 acre), but it shows up 10-15' away from its source. And then each of those take off. Usually I just snap off new culms that show up here and there, but these are remarkable resilient and even when bent at 90 degrees, it keeps on growing. Hard stuff to kill!

It is easy to identify this species as it has re... read more


On Nov 10, 2003, Michaelp from Piney Flats, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

This one, as well as most species of Bamboo[both Dendrocalamus and Phyllostachys]have eddible shoots --just earth up the bases of the plants in the winter -and than cut the shoots as they emerge form the piled up soil,in the spring--don't let them get too big,or they get tough--if you let them get exposed to light ,they will get bitter.Boil for 1/2 hr or longer,but not too long or they loose the crispness of texture.