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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Measuring bamboos & other plants with the caliper

One of the fun things to do in the spring is to see just how much the plants get bigger from year to year, and with bamboo shoots and some other plants, this can be done pretty easily with a caliper which I'll show in the following pictures. The diameter of the bamboo is one of the biggest factors in determining how tall the culm will get, and I think it's a more accurate measurement of it's progress.My more exciting groves are still dormant, but that only builds up the suspense for later. I'll start out with the bamboo.

Starting off with yellow groove, the average culm that came up last year was around 1/2 inch with the biggest one at 0.70, but this year it looks like the average is up to around 0.67 while the biggest one so far is close to 0.80 as shown in this picture.

Here's the bissetii which I believe to be the dwarf form since it seems to be stuck at 0.25.

Now moving onto the rubromarginata, the newest shoots are around the 0.25 inch mark however this species tends to continue producing shoots progressively through spring and early summer so I'm expecting it to upsize a bit. The biggest last year were around 0.30.

The most exciting bamboo so far has been the moso, and this one seems to be averaging 1/2 inch shoots so far with the largest ones around 0.60 however more shoots are on probably on the way and I might see bigger. Last year, they were only 0.3 to 0.42 inches in diameter so there's improvement.

Moving on to the sempervivums. I ordered 25 sempervivum cuttings which were about 0.75 inches in diameter when I got them, but some of them are getting up close to the 2 inch mark. Here's my favorite one so far which is also starting to grow chicks.

Here's the original sempervivum species I had. This one is a bit under 7 inches in diameter, but I've seen them get close to 1ft in diameter when they are close to flowering so they have pretty good size potential.

Here's the gunnera manicata leaves. It gets a little bit bigger each year despite the removal of the side shoots for propagation/ trade. This year the leaves are getting up around 1 inch in diameter, and the leaves that come later should be even a bit bigger. I've seen leaves 2-3ft in diameter last year so these might exceed 3ft in diameter this year.

Here's my tree lilies which can actually increase their diameter slightly as they are rising. The biggest ones now are around 1 inch in diameter which means they should get over 7ft tall when fully flowered out.

Finally to update on my musa basjoos, one of them is just getting off the ground while the other one which has a 3 inch + psuedo-stem seems to be picking off where it left off. I'm expecting it to at least double its stem diameter this season if not more. The corm which is over 1ft below ground is probably a couple inches bigger in diameter.

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