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Vascular Plants of California
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Phyllostachys aurea

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Poaceae (Gramineae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to woody perennial herb; roots generally fibrous. Stem: generally round, hollow; nodes swollen, solid. Leaf: alternate, 2-ranked, generally linear, parallel-veined; sheath generally open; ligule membranous or hairy, at blade base. Inflorescence: various (of generally many spikelets). Spikelet: glumes generally 2; florets (lemma, palea, flower) 1--many; lemma generally membranous, sometimes glume-like; palea generally +- transparent, +- enclosed by lemma. Flower: generally bisexual, minute; perianth vestigial; stamens generally 3; stigmas generally 2, generally plumose. Fruit: grain, sometimes achene- or utricle-like.
Genera In Family: 650--900 genera; +- 10550 species: worldwide; greatest economic importance of any family (wheat, rice, maize, millet, sorghum, sugar cane, forage crops, ornamental, weeds; thatching, weaving, building materials). Note: Generally wind-pollinated. Achnatherum, Ampelodesmos, Hesperostipa, Nassella, Piptatherum, Piptochaetium, Ptilagrostis moved to Stipa; Elytrigia, Leymus, Pascopyrum, Pseudoroegneria, Taeniatherum to Elymus; Hierochloe to Anthoxanthum; Lolium, Vulpia to Festuca; Lycurus to Muhlenbergia; Monanthochloe to Distichlis; Pleuraphis to Hilaria; Rhynchelytrum to Melinis. The following taxa (in genera not included here), recorded in California from historical collections or reported in literature, are extirpated, lacking vouchers, or not considered naturalized: Acrachne racemosa (Roth) Ohwi, Allolepis texana (Vasey) Soderstr. & H.F. Decker, Amphibromus nervosus (Hook. f.) Baill., Axonopus affinis Chase, Axonopus fissifolius (Raddi) Kuhlm., Coix lacryma-jobi L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) K. Richt., Dinebra retroflexa (Vahl) Panz., Eremochloa ciliaris (L.) Merr., Eustachys distichophylla (Lag.) Nees, Gaudinia fragilis (L.) P. Beauv., Miscanthus sinensis Andersson, Neyraudia arundinacea (L.) Henrard, Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière, Phyllostachys bambusoides Siebold & Zuccarini, Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) Clayton, Schedonnardus paniculatus (Nutt.) Branner & Coville, Schizachyrium cirratum (Hack.) Wooton & Standl., Schizachyrium scoparium (Michx.) Nash, Themeda quadrivalvis (L.) Kuntze, Thysanolaena latifolia (Hornem.) Honda, Tribolium obliterum (Hemsl.) Renvoize, Zea mays L., Zizania palustris L. var. interior (Fassett) Dore, Zoysia japonica Steud. Paspalum pubiflorum E. Fourn., Paspalum quadrifarium Lam., are now reported for southern California (J Bot Res Inst Texas 4:761--770). See Glossary p. 30 for illustrations of general family characteristics.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr., except as noted
Scientific Editor: James P. Smith, Jr., J. Travis Columbus, Dieter H. Wilken.
Genus: PhyllostachysView Description 

Habit: Shrub- or tree-like perennial herb; rhizomes elongate. Stem: erect or nodding, woody, persistent, 1--35 m, 3--20 cm thick; internodes flattened, furrowed above nodes; generally 2 unequal branches per node. Leaf: main stem leaves early-deciduous, auricles and bristles present or 0; blade glossy, thickened, indistinctly cross-veined, base constricted above sheath, forming false petiole. Inflorescence: compound, panicle-like, open or congested, sometimes spike- or head-like. Spikelet: laterally compressed to rounded, 18--20 mm; glumes 0--3, < adjacent lemma, awn 0; florets 2--several, variously fertile or sterile, breaking above glumes; lemmas lanceolate to ovate, awned or awn 0; palea < lemma, strongly to faintly 2-keeled; anthers 3.
Species In Genus: +- 50 species: Himalayas to Japan, especially China. Etymology: (Greek: leaf spike, in reference to the "leafy" false spikelet) Note: Most frequently cultivated of hardy bamboos; of considerable economic importance as a source of building material, paper, fishing poles, walking sticks, edible shoots, etc, especially in Asia. Japanese arrow bamboo, Pseudosasa japonica (Steud.) Nakai, is reported from 2 urban sites in Orange Co. and hedge bamboo, Bambusa multiplex (Lour.) Schult. & Schult. f., is known from a single urban Pollard collection in Santa Barbara Co. Neither has been recollected in several decades.
eFlora Treatment Author: James P. Smith, Jr.
Reference: Haubrich 1980 J Amer Bamboo Soc 1:48--92; Stapleton & Barkworth 2007 FNANM 24:25--27
Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière
Stem: erect, stiff, forming dense thickets, to 10 m, 1--4 cm thick, green, turning yellow in strong light; generally slightly swollen below nodes; internodes crowded toward base. Leaf: blade glabrous, 4--15 cm, 0.5--2 cm wide. Chromosomes: 2n=48.
Ecology: Escaped ornamental, spreading by rhizomes along riverbanks; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo; Distribution Outside California: Oregon, southeastern United States, China, Japan, widely cultivated. Flowering Time: Dec--May Note: There is no clear evidence that plants reproduce by seed in California. Seldom, if ever, flowers in cultivation in California. Golden bamboo can be a misleading common name because many plants grown in shady areas will remain green.
Jepson eFlora Author: James P. Smith, Jr.
Reference: Haubrich 1980 J Amer Bamboo Soc 1:48--92; Stapleton & Barkworth 2007 FNANM 24:25--27
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: James P. Smith, Jr. 2012, Phyllostachys aurea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 27, 2022.

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Geographic subdivisions for Phyllostachys aurea:
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).