Phyllostachys nigra – Black bamboo

With the glossy black stems, this is an easy bamboo to identify. It will stay clumped for a long time but eventually will begin to spread further afield if not restrained by various means such as ‘bamboo cloth’. One way to help keep it in bounds is to harvest the young shoots! They’re somewhat bitter if eaten raw but that can be lessened by boiling in one or two changes of water. When you have bamboo shoots in a restaurant, that is typically another bamboo (P. edulus).