This was the first bamboo to arrive in Europe in the late 18th century. It originates from Japan, and is the bamboo which we see depicted in countless paintings, vases and prints from that country. Known as ‘metake’, it is probably the most widely occurring bamboo in our parks and gardens. The leaves are quite large, up to 10cm long (4 inches) and 4cm wide (1,5 inches). The plant itself will grow to 5m (20 feet) in length, is extremely hardy, needs moderate watering and tolerates sun or shade. Be aware that this is quite a spreader so you should consider using root barrier to keep it in check!