This article has been marked as incomplete and in need of reformatting. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.


Edible uses


Young shoots - cooked[1][2][3]. Very palatable when cooked but acrid raw[4][5][6]. Not of the highest quality, but their large size makes them very popular[7]. Extensively eaten in China, they are usually cooked in one change of water[6]. The shoots are harvested in the spring when they are about 8cm above the ground, cutting them about 5cm below soil level. The dormant young shoots, harvested in the winter before they emerge above the ground, are especially relished as a delicacy[6][7].

Material uses

The canes make good water pipes[5], they are also used for household utensils etc[4]. The short internodes at the lower end of the cane are used as flasks, vases etc[5]. Although the wood is relatively soft, the canes are much used for heavy construction, weaving various types of handicrafts and paper making[7]. The rhizomes are used as walking sticks and umbrella handles.

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

The leaves are used in the treatment of arthritic inflammations[8]. The sheaths of the stem are used in the treatment of nausea and sour stomach[8].

Unknown part


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions

Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


Nothing listed.


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[9]. Division is best carried out in wet weather and small divisions will establish better than large clumps[9]. 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[10].

Basal cane cuttings in spring.

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


Requires a rich damp soil in a sheltered position[10] with plenty of moisture in the growing season[11]. Likes abundant sunshine[2].

A fairly cold-hardy plant, succeeding outdoors in many areas of Britain. It tolerates temperatures down to about -15°c according to one report, but the plants are slow to recover from damage caused by cold weather[2]. They also dislike prolonged exposure to hard frosts[10]. Plants grow well in Cornwall making a very good sized clump. The young shoots are very fast growing, up to 30cm per day[2], and are produced from late April[4]. The rootstock is running but it is practically static in cool climates[4]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[10]. Plants only flower at intervals of many years. When they do come into flower most of the plants energies are directed into producing seed and consequently the plant is severely weakened. They sometimes die after flowering, but if left alone they will usually 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[12]. Young plants can be difficult to establish, new plantings only grow slowly at first and often fail completely if soil and water conditions are less than the best[7]. Cultivated for its edible young shoots and other uses in China and Japan[13][6], it is the most commonly cultivated bamboo in China and the second most common in Japan[7].

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[7].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Phyllostachys edulis. 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 edulis.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Phyllostachys edulis
Imported References
Edible uses
Medicinal uses
Material uses & Functions
Edible uses
None listed.
Material uses
None listed.
Medicinal uses
None listed.
Functions & Nature
Provides forage for
Provides shelter for
Hardiness Zone
Heat Zone
partial shade
Soil PH
Soil Texture
Soil Water Retention
Environmental Tolerances
    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.
    Deciduous or Evergreen
    Herbaceous or Woody
    Life Cycle
    Growth Rate
    Mature Size
    6 x meters
    Flower Colour
    Flower Type


    1. ? 1.01.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    2. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    3. ? 3.03.1 Tanaka. T. Tanaka's Cyclopaedia of Edible Plants of the World. Keigaku Publishing (1976-00-00)
    4. ? Lawson. Bamboos. Faber (1968-00-00)
    5. ? Komarov. V. L. Flora of the USSR. Israel Program for Scientific Translation (1968-00-00)
    6. ? Facciola. S. Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants. Kampong Publications ISBN 0-9628087-0-9 (1990-00-00)
    7. ? Farrelly. D. The Book of Bamboo Sierra Club. ISBN 0-87156-825-X (1984-00-00)
    8. ? Duke. J. A. and Ayensu. E. S. Medicinal Plants of China Reference Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-917256-20-4 (1985-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 Bown. D. Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley, London. ISBN 0-7513-020-31 (1995-00-00)
    10. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    11. ? Grounds. R. Ornamental Grasses. Christopher Helm ISBN 0-7470-1219-9 (1989-00-00)
    12. ? ? The Plantsman. Vol. 1. 1979 - 1980. Royal Horticultural Society (1979-00-00)
    13. ? Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)