Mexican weeping bamboo

Mexican weeping bamboo
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Monocots
(unranked): Commelinids
Order: Poales
Family: Poaceae
Genus: Otatea
Species: O. acuminata
Binomial name
Otatea acuminata
(Munro) C.E.Calderón & Soderstr.

The Mexican weeping bamboo, Otatea acuminata aztecorum, is a clumping bamboo found in Mexico and Central America. It produces thick stands of long narrow leaves. The weight of the leaves cause the long thin clums to bend, or weep.


The Mexican Weeping Bamboo is often used as an ornamental plant in gardens which receive partial or full sun. It is somewhat drought tolerant, but benefits from occasional watering and feeding. Allow the soil to dry out between watering. Mexican Weeping Bamboo is easily grown in pots to around 6 feet tall, but may achieve 15 feet or more if planted in the ground and regularly fed and watered.

Mexican Weeping Bamboo is easy to propagate by dividing the root ball with a sharp spade. A particularly delicate look can be achieved by thinning the culms so that they are spaced a foot or more apart. This allows dappled light to pass through the Mexican Weeping Bamboo, and the plant will sway gracefully in a gentle breeze.

It is a fast growing clumping bamboo which can spread one or two feet in each direction yearly. It is well suited to the climate and soil in Southern California, and can be successfully grown and propagated with minimal effort. Unlike many bamboo varieties, the leaves do not brown at the tips even under suboptimal growing conditions.

Subspecies and varieties

There are several subspecies and varieties:

  • ssp. acuminata
  • ssp. aztecorum - the most commonly culivated
  • 'Dwarf'
  • 'Mayan Silver'
  • 'Michoacan'

External links