Herb: Tonkin Bamboo

Latin name: Pseudosasa amabilis

Synonyms: Arundinaria amabilis

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Description of the plant:


6 m
(20 feet)

Habitat of Tonkin Bamboo:

Forests, forest margins and damp grasslands.

Other uses of the herb:

Canes are tough, resilient and strong. They make very good plant supports and are also used for handicrafts, hop poles and pole vaulting, they are remarkably stiff.

Propagation of Tonkin Bamboo:

Seed - if possible, surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20C. Stored seed is best sown as soon as it is obtained. 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. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out, which might take a few years. Plants only flower at intervals of several years and so 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.

Cultivation of the herb:

Forests, forest margins and damp grasslands.

Medicinal use of Tonkin Bamboo:

None known

Known hazards of Pseudosasa amabilis:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.