Phyllostachys aurea - Carr. ex A.& C. Riviere
Golden Bamboo
Other Common Names: golden bamboo
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Related ITIS Name(s): Phyllostachys aurea Carrière ex Rivière & C. Rivière (TSN 42023)
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.144070
Element Code: PMPOA4W010
Informal Taxonomy: Plants, Vascular - Flowering Plants - Grass Family
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Plantae Anthophyta Monocotyledoneae Cyperales Poaceae Phyllostachys
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Concept Reference Code: B94KAR01HQUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Phyllostachys aurea
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: GNR
Global Status Last Changed: 22Mar1994
Rounded Global Status: GNR - Not Yet Ranked
Nation: United States
National Status: NNA

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Alabama (SNA), Arkansas (SNA), California (SNA), Delaware (SNA), Florida (SNA), Georgia (SNR), Louisiana (SNA), Maryland (SNA), Mississippi (SNA), North Carolina (SNA), South Carolina (SNA), Tennessee (SNA), Virginia (SNA)

Other Statuses

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Distribution
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U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
NOTE: The distribution shown may be incomplete, particularly for some rapidly spreading exotic species.

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States ALexotic, ARexotic, CAexotic, DEexotic, FLexotic, GA, LAexotic, MDexotic, MSexotic, NCexotic, SCexotic, TNexotic, VAexotic

Range Map
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Ecology & Life History Not yet assessed
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Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank)
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Disclaimer: While I-Rank information is available over NatureServe Explorer, NatureServe is not actively developing or maintaining these data. Species with I-RANKs do not represent a random sample of species exotic in the United States; available assessments may be biased toward those species with higher-than-average impact.

I-Rank: Medium/Low
Rounded I-Rank: Medium
I-Rank Reasons Summary: A popular species used as an ornamental and to create privacy fences, golden bamboo is now naturalized in nearly all southeastern states and possibly also in California and Oregon. Also recently reported as naturalized on Oahu. Likely to be restricted from most as-yet uninvaded states by cold and/or aridity. Appears to be locally problematic at scattered sites, having significant impacts on biodiversity when large established stands occur in relatively natural habitats such as secondary forests, floodplain forests, and riparian areas. Where well-established, the species can form dense stands up to 12-15 m tall that displace native species; stands also produce copious leaf litter which may impact litter-feeding stream invertebrates. Spreads predominantly via rhizomes; disturbance tends to promote spread. Management is complicated by the species' ability to resprout, but can be accomplished with perseverance via repeated cutting/mowing or cutting and herbiciding.
Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low
Subrank II - Current Distribution/Abundance: Medium/Low
Subrank III - Trend in Distribution/Abundance: Medium
Subrank IV - Management Difficulty: Medium/Low
I-Rank Review Date: 26Nov2008
Evaluator: Gravuer, K.
Native anywhere in the U.S?
Native Range: Native to temperate and tropical southern China (PIER 2007, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008, USDA-ARS 2008). Cultivated in Japan for centuries.

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Screening Questions

S-1. Established outside cultivation as a non-native? YES
Comments: This species is a non-native that is established outside of cultivation (Kartesz 1999).

S-2. Present in conservation areas or other native species habitat? Yes
Comments: Invaded native species habitats include secondary forests and clearings in the southeast (SE-EPPC 2003, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008, Weakley 2008), floodplain and upland forests in Florida (FNAI 2008), and riparian sites in California (Hrusa et al. 2002). Has been documented in undisturbed natural areas in at least northern (and probable central) Florida (Fox et al. 2008).

Subrank I - Ecological Impact: Medium/Low

1. Impact on Ecosystem Processes and System-wide Parameters:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of specific ecosystem-level impacts found in literature. Apparently produces considerable leaf litter (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006), which may have a mild influence on soil nutrient cycling.

2. Impact on Ecological Community Structure:Moderate significance
Comments: Can form dense stands up to 12-15 m tall (Weakley 2008); in the Florida Invasive Plants Geodatabase (FLInv), about half of documented infestations were rated "dense monoculture" or "dominant cover," with the other half described as "scattered plants or clumps" (FNAI 2008). Infestations alter wildlife habitat (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006). Within open forest communities, it appears that infestations would form a new layer of vegetation.

3. Impact on Ecological Community Composition:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Can form dense, impenetrable monocultures that displace native species (Staples et al. 2002, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006). Leaf litter is also believed to alter stream food webs, starting with litter-feeding stream invertebrates (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006).

4. Impact on Individual Native Plant or Animal Species:Low significance/Insignificant
Comments: No mention of disproportionate impacts found in literature. However, leaf litter is believed to affect litter-feeding stream invertebrates (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006), so it is possible that stream invertebrates dependent on specific qualities of native species' leaf litter may be disproportionately affected.

5. Conservation Significance of the Communities and Native Species Threatened:Low significance
Comments: Invaded communities of potential conservation significance (high quality) include secondary forests and clearings in the southeast (SE-EPPC 2003, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008, Weakley 2008), floodplain and upland forests in Florida (FNAI 2008), and riparian sites in California (Hrusa et al. 2002); however, many infestations are located in highly human-modified habitats.

Subrank II. Current Distribution and Abundance: Medium/Low

6. Current Range Size in Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: Established in nearly all southeastern states, from Maryland south to Florida, west to Texas, Arkansas and Tennessee (Kartesz 1999). Recently reported as naturalized in the Hawaiian islands (Oahu) (Staples et al. 2002). Currently considered possibly/tentatively naturalized in California (Ertter 2003); it appears that specimens have been collected from relatively natural habitats in Placer, Stanislaus, and Ventura counties (with the Ventura county site having been "re-collected after 15 year in same spot. colony enlarged"). However, the most recent California collection was in 1969, so reconfirmation of one of more California sites is advisable (Hrusa et al. 2002). May also be naturalized in Oregon (Kartesz 2008), but no additional information about its presence there was found. In total, approximately 20-25% of the United States appears to be within the generalized range.

7. Proportion of Current Range Where the Species is Negatively Impacting Biodiversity:Low significance
Comments: Overall, this species appears to be locally problematic at scattered sites within its generalized range, having significant impacts on biodiversity when large established stands occur in relatively natural habitats. Reported as invasive in Maryland and Virginia, where it is established in several National Historic Parks (Swearingen 2007); on a scale of High, Medium, or Low, rated as of Medium invasiveness in Virginia (VDCR and VNPS 2003). Considered a species of concern in Texas, indicating that its potential to cause ecological or economic damage is a concern to local scientists and resource managers; in the Lower Galveston Bay watershed (TX), however, it is apparently found predominantly within the Houston urban area and residential communities (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006). Considered relatively uncommon and predominantly occurring in suburban woodlands throughout Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia overall (Weakley 2008). In Florida, it is listed as a Category II species [northern and central Florida] by the FL EPPC, i.e. an invasive exotic that has increased in abundance or frequency but has not yet altered Florida plant communities to the extent shown by Category I species. The IFAS assessment in Florida (Fox et al. 2008) concludes that it is not considered a problem species at this time and rates its ecological impacts as Low. In New Zealand, it is noted to be more aggressive in the warmer parts of the country than in the the cooler parts (Edgar and Connor 2000); it is possible that a similar generalization holds within its invaded U.S. range.

8. Proportion of Nation's Biogeographic Units Invaded:Moderate significance
Comments: Approximately 16 ecoregions are invaded in the southeast, 1 in Hawaii, and possibly another 3-4 in California and Oregon, based on visual comparison of the generalized range and ecoregions map (The Nature Conservancy 2001).

9. Diversity of Habitats or Ecological Systems Invaded in Nation:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Invaded habitats in the southeast include secondary forests (especially when sparsely wooded) and suburban woodlands, clearings, and forest edges (SE-EPPC 2003, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008, Weakley 2008). Also found in habitats closely associated with humans such as old homesites, roadsides, and residential right of ways throughout its invaded range (Staples et al. 2002, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006). In Florida, the Florida Invasive Plants Geodatabase (FLInv) records a few infestations in a floodplain forest without significant apparent disturbance, and a few other infestations in association with light to heavy disturbances in baygall, upland hardwood forest, upland mixed forest, and xeric upland communities (FNAI 2008). Habitats from California specimens are listed as "open dry slope above wash", "along permanent stream", and "popular grove and thicket" [at juncture of creek and river] (Hrusa et al. 2002). Thrives in full sun and can tolerate partial shade; seems to require some shade in the hottest parts of its invaded range (SE-EPPC 2003, VDCR and VNPS 2003, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008). Exhibits most vigorous growth in moist, deep, rich, loamy to sandy soils (SE-EPPC 2003, VDCR and VNPS 2003, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006, PIER 2007); appears to have low drought tolerance but more tolerant of less-than-optimal soil texture and fertility (USDA NRCS 2008). In general, this species will apparently continue to grow and spread in habitats that are less than ideal, although it will do so at a diminished rate (SE-EPPC 2003).

Subrank III. Trend in Distribution and Abundance: Medium

10. Current Trend in Total Range within Nation:Moderate significance
Comments: First introduced into the United States (Alabama) in 1882 for ornamental purposes (Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008); generalized range in the southeastern U.S. and California appears more or less stable. Relatively recently (2000) documented as naturalized in the Hawaiian Islands (Oahu): "Long cultivated in the Hawaiian Islands as an ornamental, this is the first report of this dwarf bamboo as a naturalized element in the flora" (Staples et al. 2002).

11. Proportion of Potential Range Currently Occupied:Low significance
Comments: The USDA estimates this species' minimum temperature tolerance to be -3 degrees F and its precipitation tolerance to be 35-65 inches (USDA NRCS 2008). These figures suggest that it may be able to establish in a few additional states at the edges of its current range, including eastern Oklahoma, Kentucky, Delaware, New Jersey, and Washington state. Hawaiian islands other than Oahu also appear to be suitable. However, in the remainder of the United States, arid and/or cold conditions appear likely to restrict its establishment; although the Flora of North America Editorial Committee (2007) reports that "it grows as far north as Vancouver, British Columbia in the west and Buffalo, New York in the east," the cultivated range is likely to be larger (further north) than the potential naturalized range due to the buffering effects of human assistance.

12. Long-distance Dispersal Potential within Nation:High/Moderate significance
Comments: Widely planted and available for sale from online distributors and in garden centers or nurseries (Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008); has been used for numerous purposes including as an ornamental, to create privacy fences, and for fishing poles (Staples et al. 2002, Miller 2003, Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008). Can also become established via dumping of yard waste (Langeland and Stocker 2001).

13. Local Range Expansion or Change in Abundance:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Infestations can rapidly expand in size, especially following disturbance (Miller 2003). Since disturbance activities are unlikely to be decreasing within the invaded range, some infestations are likely spreading locally. The population on Oahu is described as an "extensive thicket spreading downslope from road on steep hillside" (Staples et al. 2002).

14. Inherent Ability to Invade Conservation Areas and Other Native Species Habitats:Moderate significance
Comments: Habitat is described as "secondary forests" (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006), suggesting that it tends to invade mid-successional vegetation. Records in the Florida Invasive Plants Geodatabase (FLInv) (FNAI 2008) suggest that it may also invade more mature vegetation (e.g. baygall) following disturbance, and Fox et al. (2008) list it as present in undisturbed natural areas in northern (and probable central) Florida. Whether or not it is required for establishment, disturbance seems to facilitate rapid colony expansion (Miller 2003). In its native range in China, this species grows in deciduous and coniferous forests (SE-EPPC 2003).

15. Similar Habitats Invaded Elsewhere:High/Low significance
Comments: PIER (2007) notes that "it has been introduced into most countries of the world and is often grown as an ornamental, even in temperate climates." Naturalized in at least Australia (New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia), New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, Madagascar, the Philippines, and many South American countries (Randall 2002, PIER 2007). In Australia, it "can take over gardens and spread to neighbouring land if left unrestricted; has also established in native bushland from garden refuse" (Groves and Hosking 1998). It is possible that some of these "native bushland" habitats are similar to as-yet uninvaded U.S. habitats, e.g. in California. In Madagascar, it appears to invade heavily human-modified vegetation, as it does at many sites in the U.S. In Tanzania, it was found to be one of the less aggressive species in a study that resurveyed planted botanical garden plots (Dawson et al. 2008).

16. Reproductive Characteristics:Moderate significance
Comments: Reproduction is mainly by branched rhizomes, via which plants spread readily. Flowering is very rare (can be one to several decades between flowering events) (Miller 2003, SE-EPPC 2003) and usually signifies the death of the plant (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006); in at least some parts of the native range, flowering has never been observed (Staples et al. 2002, Weakley 2008). Several sources noted a rapid growth rate (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants 2008, USDA NRCS 2008). Resprouts after cutting (SE-EPPC 2003, USDA NRCS 2008); described as "aggressive in the sprouting of new stems" (Gonzalez and DallaRosa 2006).

Subrank IV. General Management Difficulty: Medium/Low

17. General Management Difficulty:Moderate significance
Comments: In natural areas, the control method of choice would likely be repeated cutting/mowing (when infestations are small or herbicides cannot be used) or the "cut stump" method of cutting and then applying an herbicide (when infestations are larger and herbicides are permitted). Cutting/mowing is relatively labor-intensive; it must be repeated several times throughout the growing season, and monitoring and re-treatment are necessary for several growing seasons until the energy reserves in the rhizomes are exhausted (SE-EPPC 2003). "Cut stump" treatments are also likely to require multiple visits, as single applications of herbicides do not tend to effectively control this species (Czarnota and Derr 2007).

18. Minimum Time Commitment:Medium/Low significance
Comments: Both the cutting/mowing and cut stump treatment methods require follow-up, such that the control program will almost certainly require more than two years, but probably not more than 10 years.

19. Impacts of Management on Native Species:Low significance
Comments: The effective herbicide with the least impact on co-occurring natives appears to be glyphosate; however, as noted by the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants (2008), glyphosate is a non-selective systemic herbicide that may kill non-target, partially sprayed plants. Still, if applied carefully to cut stumps, glyphosate would probably harm co-occurring natives less than 25% of the time. Damage to natives from cutting/mowing is assumed to be below this threshold as well.

20. Accessibility of Invaded Areas:Low significance
Comments: A few infestations in the Florida Invasive Plants Geodatabase (FLInv) were rated difficult to access (power boat needed) (FNAI 2008). In addition, because this species is extensively used on private lands, some infestations adjacent to natural areas may be difficult to access and control.
Authors/Contributors
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Botanical data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs), The North Carolina Botanical Garden, and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants. 2008. Golden bamboo: Phyllostachys aurea. University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS). Online. Available: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/node/324 (Accessed 2008).

  • Czarnota, M. and J. Derr. 2007. Controlling bamboo (Phyllostachys spp.) with herbicides. Weed Technology 21: 80-83.

  • Dawson, W., A. S. Mndolwa, D. F. R. P. Burslem, and P. E. Hulme. 2008. Assessing the risks of plant invasions arising from collections in tropical botanical gardens. Biodiversity and Conservation 17: 1979-1995.

  • Edgar, E. and H. E. Connor (with contributions from W. R. Sykes and M. I. Dawson). 2000. Flora of New Zealand volume 5: Gramineae. Manaaki Whenua Press, Lincoln, New Zealand.

  • Ertter, B., editor. 2003. Phyllostachys aurea Rivière & C. Rivière. Initial editorial analysis. Jepson Flora Project: Index to California Plant Names. Online. Available: http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu (Accessed 2008).

  • Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC). 2007. Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council's 2007 List of Invasive Species. Online. Available: http://www.fleppc.org/list/07list_ctrfld.pdf (accessed 2008).

  • Florida Natural Areas Inventory (FNAI). 2008, October last update. Florida Invasive Plants GeoDatabase (FLInv). Online. Available: http://www.fnai.org/invasivespecies.cfm (Accessed 2008)

  • Fox, A.M., D.R. Gordon, J.A. Dusky, L. Tyson, and R.K. Stocker. 2008, February last update. IFAS assessment of the status of non-native plants in Florida's natural areas. Online. Available: http://plants.ifas.ufl.edu/assessment.html (Accessed 2008).

  • Gonzalez, L. and J. DallaRosa. 2006. The quiet invasion: A guide to the invasive plants of the Galveston Bay area. Houston Advanced Research Center and Galveston Bay Estuary Program. Online. Available: http://www.galvbayinvasives.org/ (Accessed 2008)

  • Groves, R.H. and J. R. Hosking. 1998. Recent incursions of weeds to Australia 1971 - 1995. Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) for Weed Management Systems. Technical Series No. 3. Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. http://www.weedscrc.org.au/documents/tech_series_3.pdf

  • Hrusa, F., B. Ertter, A. Sanders, G. Leppig, and E. Dean. 2002. Catalogue of non-native vascular plants occurring spontaneously in California beyond those addressed in The Jepson Manual - Part 1. Madrono 49(2): 61-98.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1994. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. 2nd edition. 2 vols. Timber Press, Portland, OR.

  • Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist and atlas with biological attributes for the vascular flora of the United States, Canada, and Greenland. First edition. In: Kartesz, J.T., and C.A. Meacham. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, N.C.

  • Langeland, K.A., and R.K. Stocker. 2001. April-last update. Control of Non-native Plants in Natural Areas of Florida. Department of Agronomy, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Online. Available: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

  • Miller, J.H. 2003. Nonnative Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: A field guide for identification and control. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-62. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station. 93 pp.

  • Pacific Island Ecosystems at Risk (PIER). 2007, 13 September last update. Phyllostachys aurea. United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service Institute of Pacific Island Forestry. Online. Available: http://www.hear.org/pier/species/phyllostachys_aurea.htm (Accessed 2008).

  • Randall, R.P. 2002. A global compendium of weeds. R.G. and F.J. Richardson, Melbourne. 905 pp.

  • Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council (SE-EPPC). 2003. Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual. Online. Available: http://www.invasive.org/eastern/eppc/index.html

  • Staples, G. W., C. T. Imada, and D. R. Herbst. 2002. New Hawaiian plant records for 2000. Records of the Hawaiian Biological Survey for 2000, Bishop Museum Occasional Papers 68: 3-18.

  • Swearingen, J. 2007. Last update April 10. Alien plant invaders of natural areas. Plant Conservation Alliance, Alien Plant Working Group. Online. Available: http://www.nps.gov/plants/alien/list/ (accessed 2008).

  • The Nature Conservancy. 2001. Map: TNC Ecoregions of the United States. Modification of Bailey Ecoregions. Online . Accessed May 2003.

  • USDA Forest Service, Forest Health Staff (USFS). 2006. Weed of the Week (02-09-06): Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea). USDA Forest Service, Newtown Square, PA. Online. Available: http://www.na.fs.fed.us/fhp/invasive_plants/weeds/golden-bamboo.pdf (Accessed 2008).

  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. 2008 last update. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, MD. Online. Available: http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/index.pl (Accessed 2008).

  • USDA, Natural Resources Conservation Service, PLANTS Database [USDA PLANTS]. http://plants.usda.gov/. Accessed 2008.

  • Virginia Native Plant Society (VNPS) and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (VDCR). 2003. September-last update. List of invasive alien plant species of Virginia. Available: http://www.vnps.org/invasive.html.

  • Weakley, A. S. 2008. Flora of the Carolinas, Virginia, Georgia, northern Florida, and surrounding areas. Working Draft of 7 April 2008. University of North Carolina Herbarium (NCU), North Carolina Botanical Garden, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Online. Available: http://herbarium.unc.edu/flora.htm (Accessed 2008).

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