Plant Profile 12.7.20

This series is designed to give me an opportunity to learn about and share my enthusiasm for plants that intrigue me.

Otatea acuminata aztecorum (Mexican Weeping Bamboo)

Mexican Weeping Bamboo first entered my consciousness as a peripheral vision on a stroll in San Diego.  Not as a plant per se but as a quality of filtered light (tinted slivers of light dancing with shadow in an animated mosaic).  Native to Southern Mexico and Central America, this bamboo forms clumps up to 20 feet in height.  The strikingly long, narrow leaves are light enough to stir in the slightest hint of breeze, but heavy enough to weigh the culms, producing the characteristic weeping effect.  Whereas bamboo normally cultivates excellent posture and the austerity that goes with it, this specimen bows graciously and democratically to every passerby.  Very, very sadly, this plant’s hardiness zone does not extend this far north.  Perhaps when I acquire/build/manifest the inevitable greenhouse in the back 40, a potted specimen can be wheeled in and out to mark the changing of the seasons.


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