Low growing spreading bamboo. Stems slender, up to 1 m tall, slightly waxy beneath the nodes which have 1-2 branches at the base. Leaves mostly to 12 cm long, 1.5 cm wide, tapered at the base, striped dark green and cream. Sheaths purplish, slightly downy. Flowering erratic. [Arundinaria variegata (Miq.) Mak.]
P. pygmaeus (Miq.) Nakai is like a smaller version of this species without variegated leaves. [Arundinaria pygmaea (Miq.) Mitford]. The var. distichus (Mitford) Nakai has stems hollow, to 1 m tall, the leaves arranged in 2 rows.
P. simonii (Carr.) Nakai, Simon Bamboo, from Japan, has larger culms to several metres tall and leaf blades more than 20 cm long, on the lower surface waxy blue on one side of the midrib and green on the other. [Arundinaria simonii (Carr.) A. Rivière and C. Rivière]
Source: (2005). Poaceae. In: . Horticultural Flora of South-eastern Australia. Volume 5. Flowering plants. Monocotyledons. The identification of garden and cultivated plants. University of New South Wales Press.