Herb: Madake

Latin name: Phyllostachys bambusoides

Synonyms: Phyllostachys quilioi, Phyllostachys reticulata

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Medicinal use of Madake:

The leaves are antipyretic. New shoots are used in the treatment of haematuria.

Description of the plant:


8 m
(26 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Woodland and especially on lower cleared slopes.

Edible parts of Madake:

Young shoots - cooked as a vegetable. Large but somewhat acrid when raw, they require boiling in a lot of water or in several changes of water. The shoots are harvested in the spring when they are about 8cm above the ground, cutting them about 5cm below soil level. The shoots contain about 2.1% protein, 0.3% fat, 3.2% carbohydrate, 0.9% ash.

Other uses of the herb:

The plant has an extensive root system and is used for erosion control. The stems are used for making furniture, plant supports etc. Fairly thick walled, the canes are considered to be the most versatile of this genus and are used in construction and other industrial uses. Even the dead culms are durable.

Propagation of Madake:

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. 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 the herb:

Woodland and especially on lower cleared slopes.

Known hazards of Phyllostachys bambusoides:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.