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Uses

Edible uses

Notes

Young shoots - cooked as a vegetable[1][2][3]. Large but somewhat acrid when raw[4], they require boiling in a lot of water or in several changes of water[5]. The shoots are harvested in the spring when they are about 8cm above the ground, cutting them about 5cm below soil level. The shoots contain about 2.1% protein, 0.3% fat, 3.2% carbohydrate, 0.9% ash[6].

Material uses

The plant has an extensive root system and is used for erosion control. The stems are used for making furniture, plant supports etc[2][4][7]. Fairly thick walled, the canes are considered to be the most versatile of this genus and are used in construction and other industrial uses[8]. Even the dead culms are durable[8].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The leaves are antipyretic[9]. New shoots are used in the treatment of haematuria[9].

Unknown part

Ecology

Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Earth stabiliser

Forage

Nothing listed.

Shelter

Nothing listed.

Propagation

Seed - surface sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20°c. Do not allow the compost to dry out. Germination usually takes place fairly quickly so long as the seed is of good quality, though it can take 3 - 6 months. Grow on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Seed is rarely available.

Division in spring as new growth commences. Divisions from the open ground do not transplant well, so will need careful treatment and nurturing under cover in pots until at least late spring[10]. Division is best carried out in wet weather and small divisions will establish better than large clumps[10]. Another report says that you can take large divisions from established clumps and transfer them straight to their permanent positions, misting or drenching them frequently until they are established[11].

Basal cane cuttings in spring.

Practical Plants is currently lacking information on propagation instructions of Phyllostachys bambusoides. Help us fill in the blanks! Edit this page to add your knowledge.



Cultivation

Requires a rich loamy soil and plenty of moisture in the growing season[12] plus a sheltered position[11].

A very hardy plant[13][1], tolerating temperatures down to about -18°c, but it dislikes prolonged exposure to hard frosts[11]. Plants can reach 25 metres in height in their native habitat, they are much smaller in Britain but, even so, a height of 12 metres has been recorded in Cornwall. Cultivated for its edible shoots in China[5], it is the most widely grown bamboo in Japan for its useful canes[8]. It has been widely planted for ornament in the Mediterranean and is becoming naturalized there[14]. There are some named forms selected for their ornamental value[11]. 'Castillon' has smaller culms than the species type, the edible shoots are less bitter[8]. A plant of this cultivar at Trebah gardens in Cornwall was growing well in woodland shade, it was 5 metres tall with canes 20mm in diameter[K]. This is a good companion species to grow in a woodland because the plants are shallow rooted and do not compete with deep rooted trees[8]. The rootstock is running but not aggressively so, especially in the cooler climate of Britain[1]. New shoots are produced from late May[1]. Individual stems can be long lived, staying leafy for up to 20 years[8]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[11].

Plants only flower at intervals of several years, viable seed is usually produced[15]. When they do come into flower most of the plants energies are directed into producing seed and consequently the plant is severely weakened. They usually die after flowering, but if left alone they will sometimes recover though they will look very poorly for a few years. If fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time the plants are more likely to die[15].

Crops

Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Phyllostachys bambusoides. Do you know of an interaction that should be listed here? edit this page to add it.

Polycultures & Guilds

There are no polycultures listed which include Phyllostachys bambusoides.

Descendants

Cultivars

Varieties

None listed.

Subspecies

None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Taxonomy
Binomial name
Phyllostachys bambusoides
Genus
Phyllostachys
Family
Gramineae
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Botanic
Propagation
Cultivation
Environment
Cultivation
Uses
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Functions
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Environment
Hardiness Zone
7
Heat Zone
?
Water
moderate
Sun
Shade
partial shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    Ecosystems
    Native Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Adapted Climate Zones
    None listed.
    Native Geographical Range
    None listed.
    Native Environment
    None listed.
    Ecosystem Niche
    None listed.
    Root Zone Tendancy
    None listed.
    Life
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    ?
    Growth Rate
    ?
    Mature Size
    8 x 8 meters
    Fertility
    ?
    Pollinators
    Flower Colour
    ?
    Flower Type

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    References

    1. ? 1.01.11.21.31.4 Lawson. Bamboos. Faber (1968-00-00)
    2. ? 2.02.12.22.3 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.14.24.3 Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable ISBN 0094579202 (1974-00-00)
    5. ? 5.05.15.2 Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    6. ? 6.06.1 Reid. B. E. Famine Foods of the Chiu-Huang Pen-ts'ao. Taipei. Southern Materials Centre (1977-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.18.28.38.48.58.6 Farrelly. D. The Book of Bamboo Sierra Club. ISBN 0-87156-825-X (1984-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.19.2 Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    10. ? 10.010.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.111.211.311.411.5 Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    12. ? F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    13. ? 13.013.1 Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    14. ? ? Flora Europaea Cambridge University Press (1964-00-00)
    15. ? 15.015.1 ? The Plantsman. Vol. 1. 1979 - 1980. Royal Horticultural Society (1979-00-00)

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