After digging out loads of Buddleia plants and brambles I started hacking away at what I thought was just overgrown grass. However I've a feeling it might be bamboo. If so I would just like to know if I can leave it there or if it's the bad sort that needs digging out? I've lived here for 11 years and it seems pretty small so I don't know where it came from if it is bamboo. Any info would be great! If it's not the sort to completely take over the garden it will be great as I'm starting to grow tropical style plants e.g. [Musa basjoo][1] and palms.

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[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musa_basjooenter image description here

  • General location in the world and "plant hardiness zone" USDA Zone or some concept of how cold it gets there?
    – Ecnerwal
    Apr 14 '17 at 16:38
  • Sorry - should have said.. I'm in the UK in the south east so I think that's zone 8. Thanks
    – Rach
    Apr 14 '17 at 21:13

It does appear to be one of the bamboos, not sure which- its looking a bit tatty so hard to say which one it might be. The stems on it just look straw coloured at the moment, but if it is a bamboo, those stems should be pretty rigid and hard to break, even if they're dead. As it grows, it might be possible to decide what it is, whether that's a true grass or a bamboo - hopefully, it's one of the Fargesias if its bamboo because they don't run.

Check the area around it to a distance of six feet to start with - you're looking for shoots that might be bamboo, because it might have invaded already. If you can't see any, I would attempt to dig around it, just to see whether it's put out running rhizomes to a good distance under the soil - if it has, then you can assume its one that runs, and if you can remove it, do so. No reason why you can't replant it, but you'd need to insert a rhizome root barrier all around the area you want it to grow, to stop it spreading into areas where you don't want it to.

UPDATE: You've said you're in the UK, in which case its definitely not one of the prairie grasses, and much more likely to be one of the bamboos than any other grass like plant. The strawlike colour of the stems is still odd for a bamboo though, and it looks fairly short, though hard to be sure, but if the stems are rigid that's what it is - it resembles a rather poorly Sasa hyatae, or maybe Pseudosasa japonica otherwise, assuming it isn't very tall.

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    What makes you think bamboo? Looks more like a tallgrass prairie species to me. But that'd be an odd thing to find in say California: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallgrass_prairie nps.gov/tapr/upload/common-tallgrass-prairie-grasses-2012.pdf Apr 14 '17 at 15:53
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    @WayfaringStranger - just looks like bamboo, that's all. Of the four tallgrass prairie species I know, none has these angled leaves off a mainstem. Can't access your link, I don't have sufficient storage on this device. But bamboo is a type of grass anyway...tho I'd expect the stems to be pretty stiff if it is bamboo. I'll add that to my answer...
    – Bamboo
    Apr 14 '17 at 17:17
  • @WayfaringStranger: Bamboo is a grass, so there are not so many differences, and many characters are in common with other group of Gramineae (Poaceae) Apr 16 '17 at 15:41
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi Yes, I know. I just wondered if there was something I missed that shouted out bamboo, in this particular case. Apr 16 '17 at 15:55
  • It does look like an arundinaria cane(in the bamboo family) to me because of the way the stems appear to be covered with a sheath(assuming they are green and alive inside).
    – user10810
    Apr 17 '17 at 4:54

This looks to me like some overgrown crab grass I have seen in Florida. As a side note bamboo is technically a kind of grass.

  • I've added another photo which may be slightly better quality. It is 1 metre high at its tallest and it's leaves are much smaller than my pseudosasa japonicas leaves. And the stems are very rigid. Sounds like it's definitely bamboo them. Would be interesting to work out which one now!
    – Rach
    Apr 27 '17 at 15:25
  • In the new photo I can see the resemblance to bamboo. Apr 30 '17 at 1:28
  • ...and going off of the comments above are a few options for which one. I looked at some google images of the suggestions. From those pictures I personally see the most similarities with, "Pseudosasa japonica"(posted by "Bamboo") and "arundinaria cane(posted by "jbcreix"). Apr 30 '17 at 2:01

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