It’s never good news when the San Diego Botanic Garden (SDBG) has to say goodbye to one of its prized and popular possessions but the time has come. We are saying goodbye to our champion giant timber bamboo, the Dendrocalamus giganteus. This bamboo is considered one of the two largest bamboos, growing over 100 feet tall with canes or culms that can be 10-12 inches in diameter.

The Garden’s bamboo came from the Taiwan Forestry Research Department via the American Bamboo Society in 1981. It grew rapidly in the 1990s and early 2000s and became one of the Garden’s most memorable icons. It grew to a height of over 70 feet with canes or culms up to eight inches in diameter. For some time, after hurricane Andrew diminished the specimen at the Fairchild Tropical Botanical Garden in Miami, ours was the largest specimen in the United States.

In the last few years it started to flower and seed. Like many bamboo, after it has produced seed for a future generation, it has seriously declined in health. While SDBG is sad to see it go, it is nature’s way.

Come on out to the San Diego Botanic Garden this FRIDAY morning, June 28,  to see the removal of this icon and large specimen. A crane will be used to remove their once grand giant bamboo.

There may be a tear or two.

Additional facts about the Giant Timber Bamboo:

It is native to India, Burma, and Thailand where it is used for construction, furniture, and a variety of crafts. The young shoots are edible.

Most bamboos don’t produce flowers, except in cycles that may span decades. The plants later may die after producing seed. However, the processes influencing the flowering of bamboos are still largely unknown.

SDBG has the largest collection of bamboos in any U.S. botanic garden with over one hundred species and varieties.