Giant bamboos and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) fit well together. They have about the same height. Along the central alley, the Sequoia have been planted a century ago every fifty meters. They are now very high. The bamboo shoots grow mush faster and each shoot reaches its definitive height in one year.
All what we have visited can be completely flooded. On the house where the offices of the "bambouseraie" are located, the blue label shows the heights reached by the November 2003 flood. The whole garden was under water.
Higher on the wall, another darker label shows the level reached in 1957 (not sure of the exact date)
The Washingtonia filifera avenue. The part of the estate where they grow has a very different look than the more classical parts of the "bambouseraie". They were planted about fifty years ago and have not yet reached their full size.
The Japanese garden is a new part of the "bambouseraie". When we visited the "bambouseraie", it has been planted a few month earlier and everything has not grown yet. We will come back later to see how it is looking once fully grown !
A quiet little stream of water leads to the Japanese garden, a little further. This stream looks so calm that you would never believe that some years, together with other little streams, it can flood the whole estate under several meters of water.
A bamboo vault leads to another part of the "bambouseraie" with palm trees and a Japanese garden. The bamboo shoots are curved immediately after they have been picked. When dry, they would not bend like that but once bent early, they keep this curved shape.
The Cambodian village does not only mean houses for the people but also shelter for the animals, as it would have been in a true Cambodian village. Animals are black porks and wonderfully colored poultry.
For some years now, the managerial team of the "Bambouseraie" have established cooperation with Cambodia. The Cambodian village has been build with the bamboos grown here by a team of Cambodian that have spent several month here.
Some bamboos are black, even when they are young (Phyllostachis nigra). Others are yellow whatever their age. On this picture, you will see the black-stemmed bamboos on the left and the yellow stemmed on the right.
The bamboo stem is made of several closed segments. This adds to its strength. The sap does not circulate in the inner part of the bamboo, which is closed every 10 centimeters or so, but in the bamboo walls.
Phyllostachis pubescens is also called the giant bamboo. . The reason is that some of the Phyllostachis pubescens stems can grow thicker than an adult's hand. That is what can be seen on this picture. They also grow very fast, sometimes 20-30 cm per day and eventually more !
These giant bamboos can grow to amazing heights and for example, can reach thirty meters. They are stronger than steel. In some countries, they are used in building instead of steel for reinforced concrete.
The bamboos are perfectly at ease in this place. The soil, moisture and climate is perfectly adapted to their needsand they grow very fast. They grow as thick bushes, just as they do in southeastern Asia. Only the tiger is (thankfully) missing !
Giant bamboos are Phyllostachis pubescens. They grow on both sides of the main alley of the "Bambouseraie" of Prafrance. Their heights make them very impressive, especially when the wind blows strongly.
Washingtonia filifera bears flowers and fruits are bright yellow. They add a touch of color on the greenish tone of the leaves and on the brown color of the trunk. The fruits are hard and dry and not edible.