Herb: Cane Reed
Latin name: Arundinaria gigantea
Synonyms: Arundinaria macrosperma, Arundinaria tecta, Arundo gigantea
Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)
Medicinal use of Cane Reed:The root is cathartic. A decoction has been used to stimulate the kidneys and "renew strength".
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Forms dense thickets along riverbanks, in swamps and low woods. Found on all types of soil from sea level to 600 metres.
Edible parts of Cane Reed:Young shoots - cooked. Used as a pot-herb. Seed - cooked. It can be used as a wheat substitute, for which it is not much inferior, but it is rather small and difficult to collect in quantity. The plants only flower at irregular intervals of several years.
Other uses of the herb:The canes are used as pipe-stems, are woven into baskets and mats plus a variety of other purposes. The hollow stems can be made into flutes.
Propagation of Cane Reed: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. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out. Bamboos only flower at intervals of several years and so seed is rarely available. Division in late 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. Rhizome cuttings. Basal cane cuttings.
Cultivation of the herb:Forms dense thickets along riverbanks, in swamps and low woods. Found on all types of soil from sea level to 600 metres.
Known hazards of Arundinaria gigantea:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.