Herb: Padang

Latin name: Himalayacalamus hookerianus

Synonyms: Arundinaria hookeriana, Chimonobambusa hookeriana, Drepanostachyum hookerianum

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Edible parts of Padang:

Seed - cooked whole or ground into a powder and used as a cereal. Plants flower at intervals of about 50 years, they flower and produce fertile seed abundantly in British gardens.

Description of the plant:


9 m
(30 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Cool broad-leaved forests, 2000 - 2500 metres.

Other uses of Padang:

The older stems are harvested for weaving into baskets and mats. The canes can be up to 3cm in diameter and, with the long gaps between nodes, produce a high-quality weaving material. A very effective plant for stabilising soil on steep slopes.

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. There is a degree of dormancy in the seed and it can take 1 - 8 months to germinate at 20 - 25C, a cold pre-treatment might shorten this time. 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 Padang:

Cool broad-leaved forests, 2000 - 2500 metres.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Himalayacalamus hookerianus:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.