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Edible uses


Young shoots - cooked[1]. Seed - cooked and used as a cereal[1]. The plants only flower and produce seed at intervals of several years.

Material uses

A valuable plant for screen planting in wet areas[2]. The canes are used for making baskets and pipes[3][4][5][6]. They can also be used as plant supports[7]. The canes are quite brittle and so are not very useful for weaving, in their native range they are only used when better species are not available[8].

Unknown part

Medicinal uses(Warning!)

There are no medicinal uses listed for Thamnocalamus spathiflorus.


Ecosystem niche/layer

Ecological Functions



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. Take divisions with at least three canes in the clump, trying to cause as little root disturbance to the main plant as possible. Grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse in pots of a high fertility sandy medium. Mist the foliage regularly until plants are established. Plant them out into their permanent positions when a good root system has developed, which can take a year or more[2].

Basal cane cuttings.

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


Succeeds in most soils in sun or shade so long as the soil is moist[2]. Prefers a good loamy soil in a semi-shaded position[9][10][3], the leaves curling up when the plant grows in strong sunlight. Dislikes drought[9]. Requires a position sheltered from cold winds[3][6].

When grown outdoors, this species is only hardy in the milder areas of Britain[6]. Plants are hardy to about -20°c according to another report. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[2]. A clump-forming species, it does not hinder the regeneration of tree growth in its native range and is also a very valuable species for providing food and shelter for wildlife[11]. 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]. The rootstock is caespitose[3].

Closely related to T. aristatus[2].


Problems, pests & diseases

Associations & Interactions

There are no interactions listed for Thamnocalamus spathiflorus. 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 Thamnocalamus spathiflorus.




None listed.


None listed.

Full Data

This table shows all the data stored for this plant.

Binomial name
Thamnocalamus spathiflorus
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
full sun
light 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. ? Kunkel. G. Plants for Human Consumption. Koeltz Scientific Books ISBN 3874292169 (1984-00-00)
    2. ? Huxley. A. The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992. MacMillan Press ISBN 0-333-47494-5 (1992-00-00)
    3. ? Lawson. Bamboos. Faber (1968-00-00)
    4. ? 4.04.1 Uphof. J. C. Th. Dictionary of Economic Plants. Weinheim (1959-00-00)
    5. ? Polunin. O. and Stainton. A. Flowers of the Himalayas. Oxford Universtiy Press (1984-00-00)
    6. ? Farrelly. D. The Book of Bamboo Sierra Club. ISBN 0-87156-825-X (1984-00-00)
    7. ? 7.07.1 Gamble. J. S. A Manual of Indian Timbers. Bishen Singh Mahendra Pal Singh (1972-00-00)
    8. ? 8.08.1 Stapleton. C. Bamboos of Nepal The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew ISBN 0947643680 (1994-00-00)
    9. ? 9.09.1 F. Chittendon. RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956 Oxford University Press (1951-00-00)
    10. ? Bean. W. Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement. Murray (1981-00-00)
    11. ? 11.011.1 Stapleton. C. Bamboos of Bhutan Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. ISBN 0-947643-67-2 (1994-00-00)
    12. ? ? The Plantsman. Vol. 1. 1979 - 1980. Royal Horticultural Society (1979-00-00)