Herb: Ringal

Latin name: Drepanostachyum falcatum

Synonyms: Arundinaria falcata, Bambusa gracilis, Chimonobambusa falcata

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Edible parts of Ringal:

Young shoots - cooked. Used as a vegetable. They are also fermented and preserved in Nepal to form a dish called tama. Tama is sour and has a very strong flavour, it is sometimes mixed in vegetable curries.

Description of the plant:


3.5 m
(11 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Forms dense thickets in evergreen oak forests that are usually damp, to 3600 metres.

Other uses of Ringal:

The canes are used for making hats, baskets, rods etc. The culms are not very straight, and they have rather swollen nodes, which make them not very suitable as a weaving material. Nevertheless, they are still widely used for this purpose in the Himalayas. They are also used in construction. They are about 2cm in diameter. The plant is used as a very effective soil stabilizer in Nepal.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - surface sow as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20C. 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. Basal cane cuttings.

Cultivation of Ringal:

Forms dense thickets in evergreen oak forests that are usually damp, to 3600 metres.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Drepanostachyum falcatum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.