Bambusa ventricosa
Common Name: Buddha belly bamboo 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: Southern China
Zone: 9 to 12
Height: 40.00 to 55.00 feet
Spread: 30.00 to 40.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Non-invasive clumping bamboo. Winter hardy to USDA Zone 9b (needs a protected locations in 9a). Plants will not survive significant frost. Best in full sun to part shade. Likes deep, rich, consistently moist soils with even watering. Avoid overly wet soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Bambusa ventricosa, commonly called Buddha bamboo or Buddha Belly, is a tropical clumping bamboo of the grass family. It is native to southern China where it typically matures on thick-walled stems (to 2 1/4” diameter) to 55’ tall. In the U.S., it is grown in the ground in parts of southern Florida, southern California and Hawaii where it typically matures to a somewhat shorter 30-45’ tall. This bamboo has cylindrical jointed stems and usually persistent leaf sheaths. Linear lanceolate leaves grow to 7” long.

This species is, however, popularly grown in containers and tubs in subtropical regions around the world where it assumes a much more compact form to only 5-8’ tall with stem diameters to 1 5/8”, featuring not only shorter stems, shorter internodes and smaller leaves, but also showcasing internodes that are distinctively swollen or bulging in an ornamentally attractive fashion, hence the common name of Buddha belly. The swollen internodes are basically caused by stress to the plant (e.g., limited available root space of a container, poor soil, inadequate water).

Genus name comes from the Latinized version of the Malayan vernacular name.

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word ventricosus/ meaning swollen on one side (pot-bellied).


No serious insect or disease problems.


Garden plant. Screens. Windbreaks. Containers. Bonsai.