Herb: Narihiradake

Latin name: Semiarundinaria fastuosa

Synonyms: Arundinaria fastuosa, Arundinaria narihira, Bambusa fastuosa

Family: Gramineae (Grass Family)

Edible parts of Narihiradake:

Young shoots - cooked. The shoots are almost free of any acridity. Although small, they are of good quality when cooked. A plant at Trebah gardens in Cornwall was producing a good amount of new shoots about 35mm in diameter in early April 1995. They are best harvested as they come through the soil in spring. Do not take too many from any plant since this will weaken the clump.

Description of the plant:


7.5 m
(25 feet)

Habitat of the herb:

Light woodlands and moist places.

Other uses of Narihiradake:

The plant is fairly resistant to maritime exposure and makes a good shelter hedge. A hedge seen in 1987 in an exposed position at Rosewarne in N. Cornwall was looking good even after the severe winter of that year. It needs to be planted fairly closely if a thick hedge is wanted quickly since it is a slow spreader. 60 - 75cm is a good distance. The canes can be used as plant supports.

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. 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 into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Grow them on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until large enough to plant out, which could be 2 - 3 years. The plants only flower at intervals of many years and so seed is rarely available. Division as the plants come into growth in spring. 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. Rhizome cuttings.

Cultivation of Narihiradake:

Light woodlands and moist places.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Semiarundinaria fastuosa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.