Young shoots - raw or cooked. They are best if used before the leaves form, when they are really delicious. They can be used like bamboo shoots. The partly unfolded leaves can be used as a potherb and the Japanese dry young leaves, grind them into a powder and mix them with cereal flour when making dumplings. The stems are reported to contain 4.8 g protein, 0.8 g fat, 90.0 g total carbohydrate, 41.2 g fiber, and 4.4 g ash. Seed - raw or cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a flour. The seed is rather small and difficult to remove from the husk but it is said to be very nutritious. A sugar is extracted from the stalks or wounded stems. A sweet liquorice-like taste, it can be eaten raw or cooked. The stems can be boiled in water and then the water boiled off in order to obtain the sugar. A sugary gum that exudes from the stems can be rolled into balls and eaten as sweets.A powder extracted from the dried stems can be moistened and roasted like marshmallow.
The stems are useful in the production of homogeneous boards. They can also be processed into a fine fibrous material suitable as a filler in upholstery. The stems have many uses. They are used for thatching roofs. It can last for 100 years. The stems and leaves are also used for building dwellings, lattices, fences, arrows by Indians, and for weaving mats, carrying nets, basket making, insulation, fuel, as a cork substitute etc. The stem contains over 50 percent cellulose and is useful in the manufacture of pulps for rayon and paper. The fibre from the leaves and stems is used for making paper. The fibre is 0.8 - 3.0 mm long and 5.0 - 30.5µm in diameter. The stems and leaves are harvested in the summer, cut into usable pieces and soaked for 24 hours in clear water. They are then cooked for 2 hours with lye and beaten in a blender. The fibre makes a khaki paper. A fibre obtained from the plant is used for making string. The flowering stalks yield a fibre suitable for rope making. The leaves are used in basket making and for weaving mats etc. A light green dye is obtained from the flowers. Freshly cut shoots are a good green manure (Does this man as a soil mulch?[K]). The inflorescences are used as brooms. The plant can be used as a cork substitute. No further details. The plant is mixed with mud to make a plaster for walls. Pens for writing on parchment were cut and fashioned from the thin stems of this reed, whilst the stems were also used as a linear measuring device.The plant has a very vigorous and running rootstock, it is useful for binding the soil along the sides of streams etc. It is planted for flood control since it stablizes the banks and gradually builds up soil depth, thus raising the level of the bank.
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Plants are hardy to about -20°c. This species is very fast growing with a very vigorous and invasive running rootstock that can be 10 metres or more long, it can form very large stands in wetlands. Difficult to eradicate once established, it is unsuitable for planting into small spaces. The flowering heads are often used in dried flower arrangements.There are some named forms, selected for their ornamental value.
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