Bamboo grass. Photo: Dr. John Meade, weed scientist emeritus, Rutgers NJAES Cooperative Extension

Updated: July 20, 2021

Life cycle

Perennial grass that forms woody stems.

golden bamboo
Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea)
Photo credit: James H. Miller, USDA Forest Service,

Growth habit

There are two main types running or clumping bamboo. They grow upright and tree-like or shrubby.  The upright shoots are called 'culms.'


Running types spread by rhizomes. Horizontal rhizomes beneath the surface of the soil spread, and new shoots grow from lateral buds along the length of the runners.


  • Running-type bamboo should never be planted. The web page below goes into detail about bamboo containment methods and control/management strategies. 

Containing and Removing Bamboo