Pseudosasa japonica
Common Name: arrow bamboo 
Type: Ornamental grass
Family: Poaceae
Native Range: Japan, Korea
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 12.00 to 16.00 feet
Spread: 12.00 to 25.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Insignificant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest
Tolerate: Heavy Shade


Best grown in moist, relatively fertile, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Tolerates full shade. Perhaps best sited in sunny areas with some afternoon shade in hot summer climates. Grows in a variety of soils. Spreads by wide-creeping rhizomes to form thickets, and is considered to be invasive in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. Winter hardy to -5 degrees F. Consider a sheltered location in USDA Zone 6a. Appreciates a root mulch in Zones 6-7. Dense growth forms an excellent screen if not thinned.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Pseudosasa japonica, commonly known as arrow bamboo, green onion bamboo or metake, is a vigorous evergreen, running-type bamboo that forms a thicket of woody, hollow, upright culms (often called canes) to 12-16’ tall clad with dense, glossy, coarse, lanceolate, dark green leaves (to 5-13” long by 1 3/4’ wide) which taper to pointed tips. It is native to Japan and Korea, but has escaped planting areas and naturalized in a number of locations in the U.S. from New York and Connecticut south to Tennessee and South Carolina plus Florida and California. Spikelets of 2-8 non-showy green flowers in lax panicles rarely appear.

This bamboo is very similar to Sasa except its flowers have three stamens (Sasa has six) and its leaf sheaths lack bristles (Sasa has scabrous rigid bristles).

Genus name comes from the Greek words pseudo meaning false and Sasa a Japanese genus of bamboos to which this is related.

Specific epithet is in reference of plants being native to Japan.

Common name of arrow bamboo is in reference to a former use of the hard stiff canes from this plant by Japanese Samurai for arrows.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Most often grown for showcasing its impressive structure and rich green foliage. It is one of the most useful and commonly used bamboos for hedges or screens. May be grown outdoors or indoors in containers.