Herb: Golden Bamboo
Latin name: Phyllostachys aurea
Synonyms: Bambusa aurea, Phyllostachys bambusoides aurea, Sinarundinaria aurea
Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)
Edible parts of Golden Bamboo:Young shoots - cooked. They can also be eaten raw and have very little bitterness. They are said to be the sweetest of the genus. The canes are about 15mm in diameter. The shoots are harvested in the spring when about 8cm above the ground, cutting them about 5cm below soil level. Seed - raw or cooked. The seed is only produced at intervals of several years, it can be eaten in all the ways that rice s used and can also be ground into a flour and used as a cereal.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Woodland.
Other uses of Golden Bamboo:The canes make excellent plant supports and are also used for making items such as umbrella handles, walking sticks, fan handles and pipe stems. The canes are very hard but super-flexible. A fibre from the stems is used for making paper. The stems are harvested at any time of the year and crushed with a hammer. They are then cooked for 2 hours or more with lye and beaten in a ball mill for 4 hours. The fibre makes a yellow/gold to cream paper.
Propagation of the herb: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. Division is best carried out in wet weather and small divisions will establish better than large clumps. 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. Basal cane cuttings in spring.
Cultivation of Golden Bamboo:Woodland.
Medicinal use of the herb:None known
Known hazards of Phyllostachys aurea:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.