Noxious Weed:  Class 4

Phyllostachys species

family: POACEAE


  • There are two types of Bamboo: clumping, which stay where they are put, and running (rhizomatous), which are invasive and spread rapidly and vigorously, quickly getting out of control.
  • Two common species of running bamboo, Golden Bamboo (Phyllostachys aurea) and Black Bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra), are declared noxious in the Blue Mountains.
  • Bamboos have rounded woody stems: those of Golden Bamboo (5m) are yellowish, slightly flattened and grooved; those of Black Bamboo (8m) become shiny black with age.
  • Bamboos rarely if ever flower; and thus do not produce seed.


Running (rhizomatous) bamboos spread by means of long underground stems (rhizomes) which send up multiple shoots. Bamboo is often dumped in bushland.

Impact on Bushland

Highly competitive, create an impenetrable network of roots, heavy leaf litter and dense shade, displace native plants.


Throughout the Blue Mountains.

Alternative Planting

Native Plants
Bush-friendly local natives such as Banksias, Hakeas and Sheoaks provide good screening, windbreaks and habitat.

Exotic alternatives:
Golden and Black Bamboo may be safely replaced by clumping bamboo species, which are decorative and easy to control.


As for Woody Weeds, or slash stems and spray when regrowth reaches 1m. Repeat as necessary.

Bamboo (rhizomatous) is a Class 4 Noxious Weed.

Class 4 noxious weeds are plants that pose a threat to primary production, the environment or human health, are widely distributed in an area to which the order applies and are likely to spread in the area or to another area.

Control objective
Minimise the negative impact of those plants on the economy, community or environment of NSW.

Control action
The growth and spread of the plant must be controlled according to the measures specified in a management plan published by the local control authority, and the plant may not be sold, propagated or knowingly distributed.

— NSW Noxious Weeds Act of 1993

Picture of Golden Bamboo

In bushland Bamboo develops dense stands which compete with native plants for light, space and water.
photo: © Barbara Harley

Stems of Golden Bamboo are slightly flattened and grooved.

Stems of Golden Bamboo are slightly flattened and grooved.
photo: © Barbara Harley

Picture of Black Bamboo

Black Bamboo can be a 'sleeper' weed, staying where planted for years before suddenly appearing all over your garden, next door, or across the road.
photo: © Barbara Harley