What Giant Bamboo Plants Grow in the UK?

They are the fastest-growing plants. Kew Royal Botanic Gardens has one of the largest collections of garden bamboos in the UK. 

At Kew’s Tropical Palm House you’ll see the giant bamboos.
  • Gigantochloa verticillate Giant Bamboo.
  • Bambusa ventricosa Buddha's Belly Bamboo.
  • Bambusa vulgaris – the Common Bamboo.
The three Giant Bamboos are a must-see. Kew Bamboo Garden also has 130 different bamboos growing naturally.

Gigantochloa verticillate Giant Bamboo


Here is what Kew said about the giant bamboo: 

The giant bamboo is the largest of all the bamboos. It grows 25-30 metres in the wild, as tall as a tree. 

This bamboo is native to Southeast Asia and the Pacific, particularly China and Papua New Guinea. In the greenhouse at Kew Gardens, this bamboo reached the top of the ceiling and had to be cut.

Bambusa ventricosa Buddha's Belly Bamboo


Another large bamboo in Kew’s Tropical Glass House is the popular Buddha's Belly Bamboo. 

Its peculiar shiny green culms are a standout – you will hardly miss it. 

The swollen or bulging internodes of its culms resemble Buddha’s fat belly which is why it earns the name Buddha's Belly Bamboo. 

The culms are deep dark green smooth and glossy with multiple branches growing at each node. 

Bambusa ventricosa (Buddha's Belly Bamboo) is probably the most peculiar-shaped bamboo that also grows in the UK. It has a clumping nature, great as a pot plant or garden plant.

Bambusa vulgaris – the Common Bamboo

This giant tropical bamboo also grows in Kew Tropical Glass House, also known as the Common Bamboo. 

An amazing bamboo with glossy green culms, large brown sheaths and hairy rims around the nodes. 

This giant timber bamboo is predominantly used for buildings and constructions and stakes for large garden plants like bananas and sugar canes.

Where to see the giant bamboo in the UK?

The Kew Royal Botanic Gardens is the place to see not only the Giant Timber Bamboos but also garden bamboo plants that grow in the UK.

how fast do bamboo plants grow in the UK?

The Kew’s Tropical Glass House is where you’ll see these three giant bamboos in all their glory. 

So, when you’re in London, visit Kew and see these adorable plants. The Bamboo Garden and Minka Japanese House have over 130 collections of bamboo plants. 

This is by far one of the largest collections of bamboo you will see near London, UK. 

The Bamboo Garden is magnificent, quiet calm and soothing. You can wander through the beautiful walkways and the arching bamboos. Or relax and listen to the rustle of bamboo leaves against the wind. 

Check out our video and image collection of the bamboos at Kew’s Tropical Glass House and Japanese Bamboo Garden.

Uses of Giant Bamboo plants

The giant bamboos are so versatile, they earn the name ‘friends of the people’. 

The bamboo sticks are used in buildings, paper making, utensils and tools, musical instruments and even for food. 

They also protect watershed areas from flooding. In mountainsides, they are important barriers to preventing soil erosion.

However, the giant bamboo natural habitats have now been lost to urbanisation and agricultural land use. Yet, it is often planted in stands as a source of building materials.

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