Home » Plants » Arundinaria gigantea

Giant Cane (Arundinaria gigantea)

Page contents


A bamboo species native to North America, once widespread and a dominant plant in the southeastern U.S., but having declined greatly.

Range - Expand


This tentative map is based on the FHWA's ERA. This data lacks information on Canada, but also overestimates native ranges, especially around the edges, as this post explains. We have not yet reviewed or fixed this map.


Mostly found in bottomlands and flat areas with water-saturated soils, but can be found on mesic to slightly drier sites as well. Usually only a dominant plant in areas prone to fire. It has been hypothesized that this species most inhabited sites transitional between more frequently-disturbed sites (which would favor grasses and sedges) and less-frequently-disturbed sites (which would support closed-canopy forests.)

Switch cane (Arundinaria tecta) is closely related, and has sometimes been treated as a variety of the same species. Similarly, hill cane (Arundinaria appalachiana) was also until recently treated as a subspecies or variety of switch cane.

Numerous other genera belong to the Arundinarieae tribe of the grass family, mostly non-native. Several, including 12 Phyllostachys species, three Pleioblastus species, and Pseudosasa japonica, have been introduced in North America.

There are even more bamboos in the broader Bambusoideae subfamily.

Giant Cane | Fire Effects Information System (FEIS) (About This Site)

Arundinaria gigantea (Giant Cane) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Arundinaria gigantea (Giant Cane) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Arundinaria gigantea (Giant Cane Bamboo) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)