I have a few different Rufa plants in a few different locations. I'll update you on the progress of these plants over the past few years.
Rufa is the earliest shooting bamboo I have. It begins shooting in late April or early May and often begins breaking the soil level under the snow cover. It is a clumping bamboo and slowly spreads out over the years. It is one of the only bamboo in the north to shoot more than once in a growing season.
Fargesia rufa - Bamboo Select tissue culture plants
Tissue culture has enabled some bamboo to be propagated quickly. Usually bamboo is propagated through division and this is time consuming and labour intensive. Since many bamboo only flower every few decades or more, seedlings grown plants can be rare.
Generally, I have heard some negative feedback from tissue culture Fargesia plants. My tissue culture nitida and murielae have been slow to size up and show marginal hardiness so far. The rufa plants have been quite impressive.
If the bamboo are protected from winds, they may not defoliate over the winter. I have a few pictures below to highlight this point in Prince Edward Island (zone 5b).
Rufa A is in an exposed position. If there is not enough snow cover to insulate it, the wind and cold dessicate the leaves over the winter.
Rufas B and C are down in a small ravine and are more protected from the wind but also from the Sun. They are all tissue culture plants but B and C came through winter much greener.