Strikingly ornamental and very popular, with the abundant green foliage contrasting with the black culms. Culms are green at first, gradually turning black. Black coloration develops best when culms are exposed to the sun. Forms a small, open grove; not particularly invasive. Does not seem to attain its maximum size in areas with very mild winters. Culms tend to arch gracefully, and may lie down when weighted by rain or other forms of precipitation. Culm are thin walled; wood is hard and tough. The wood is used for a number of purposes, including furniture and musical instuments, and decorative uses such as panels and inlays. Shoots are described as being acrid when raw, delicious cooked. Somewhat shade tolerant, and may prefer a bit of shade when grown in hot climates (but should have plenty of light for best development). Tolerates clay soil. Appreciates a steady moisture supply. Shows leaf burn when grown in alkaline soil. Has been reported to grow as large as 60′ tall and 3-1/4″ in diameter in the U.S.