Herb: Moso-Chiku

Latin name: Phyllostachys edulis

Synonyms: Phyllostachys mitis, Phyllostachys pubescens, Sinarundinaria pubescens

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Medicinal use of Moso-Chiku:

The leaves are used in the treatment of arthritic inflammations. The sheaths of the stem are used in the treatment of nausea and sour stomach.

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

Habitat of the herb:


Edible parts of Moso-Chiku:

Young shoots - cooked. Very palatable when cooked but acrid raw. Not of the highest quality, but their large size makes them very popular. Extensively eaten in China, they are usually cooked in one change 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 dormant young shoots, harvested in the winter before they emerge above the ground, are especially relished as a delicacy.

Other uses of the herb:

The canes make good water pipes, they are also used for household utensils etc. The short internodes at the lower end of the cane are used as flasks, vases etc. Although the wood is relatively soft, the canes are much used for heavy construction, weaving various types of handicrafts and paper making. The rhizomes are used as walking sticks and umbrella handles.

Propagation of Moso-Chiku:

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:


Known hazards of Phyllostachys edulis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.