Saturday, May 2, 2020

How I mistook a bamboo grove for trees

I've been walking along a stretch of road to a nearby gym for nearly a decade now, and I sometimes noticed a lot of birds hiding inside the foliage of what I took at the time to be a stand of tight packed trees in the backyard of a nearby house.

The birds would always be noisy, their tweets mingling with the rustling of the leaves.

It was only yesterday that I found out the "trees" were really tightly-spaced bamboo culms, and the discovery made me flabbergasted. I only realized they were bamboo because I had walked on the other side of the road, closest to the tall fencing that separated the house from the road.

The culms were beautiful, their bright yellow colors broken by streaks of green.

I identified the species as Phylostachys aureosulcata 'Spectabilis', which has mostly yellow stems with green coloring on their sulcus.

This has only been the second grove of bamboos that I've seen in New Jersey (with the first being at the Rutgers Gardens), and its discovery perhaps is telling me to always looks closely at the world around me. I just might find something really cool.

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