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Useful Temperate Plants

Pseudosasa japonica

(Siebold & Zucc. ex Steud.) Makino ex Nakai

Poaceae

+ Synonyms

Arundinaria japonica Siebold & Zucc. ex Steud.

Arundinaria matake Siebold ex Miq.

Arundinaria metake G.Nicholson

Arundinaria usawae Hayata

Bambusa japonica (Siebold & Zucc. ex Steud.) G.Nicholson

Bambusa mete Siebert & Voss

Pleioblastus usawae (Hayata) Ohwi

Pseudosasa usawae (Hayata) Makino & Nemoto

Sasa japonica (Siebold & Zucc. ex Steud.) Makino

Yadakeya japonica (Siebold & Zucc. ex Steud.) Makino

Common Name: Metake

No Image.

General Information

Pseudosasa japonica is an evergreen bamboo that usually grows 1 - 3 metres tall, occasionally to 5 metres; the erect, woody culms are around 15mm in diameter with thin-walled internodes. The rhizomes are elongated, the plant having a running habit that can produce new canes some distance from the main clump, especially in warm climates. This tendency to run, however, is somewhat curtailed in cooler climates, where new shoot production can be rather reduced.
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. A very ornamental plant, it is often grown as a hedge or screen in gardens[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
The rootstock is running, capable of spreading 150cm in every direction every year. It can escape from cultivation, when it can become very invasive[
25
Title
Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Lawson.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
Fairly comprehensive, it was once the standard work but is now rather dated. Deals with species hardy in Britain, giving cultivation details and some uses.
]. It is considered an invasive species in several N. American states. It is fairly easy to controli n the garden, however, by mowing around the clump and, if any new shoots that are not wanted are broken off whilst they are still small and brittle. It is important, however, to destroy any unwanted parts of the root that are dug up otherwise they can regrow and form new plants.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
58
Title
Flora of Japan. (English translation)
Publication
 
Author
Ohwi. G.
Publisher
Smithsonian Institution
Year
1965
ISBN
-
Description
The standard work. Brilliant, but not for the casual reader.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

E. Asia - central and southern Japan, south Korea

Habitat

Woodland and damp places, forming thickets in open country[
162
Title
Ornamental Grasses.
Publication
 
Author
Grounds. R.
Publisher
Christopher Helm
Year
1989
ISBN
0-7470-1219-9
Description
Cultivation details of many of the grasses and bamboos. Well illustrated.
].

Properties

Weed PotentialYes
Edibility Rating *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *
HabitEvergreen Bamboo
Height4.50 m
PollinatorsWind
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

Pseudosasa japonica is one of the easiest bamboos to grow in the temperate zone[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
] It is very hardy, tolerating temperatures down to at least -15°c[
25
Title
Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Lawson.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
Fairly comprehensive, it was once the standard work but is now rather dated. Deals with species hardy in Britain, giving cultivation details and some uses.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
], with some reports saying -24°c.
Prefers an open loam of fair quality and a position sheltered from cold drying winds[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
,
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
29
Title
Hedges and Screens.
Publication
 
Author
Shepherd. F.W.
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society.
Year
1974
ISBN
0900629649
Description
A small but informative booklet giving details of all the hedging plants being grown in the R.H.S. gardens at Wisley in Surrey.
] but it tolerates maritime exposure[
75
Title
Shelter Trees and Hedges.
Publication
 
Author
Rosewarne experimental horticultural station.
Publisher
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A small booklet packed with information on trees and shrubs for hedging and shelterbelts in exposed maritime areas.
,
166
Title
The Milder Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Taylor. J.
Publisher
Dent
Year
1990
ISBN
 
Description
A good book on plants that you didn't know could be grown outdoors in Britain.
]. Succeeds on peaty soils[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. Succeeds in soils that are half earth and half stone[
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
]. Requires abundant moisture and plenty of organic matter in the soil[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Endures near-saturated soil conditions[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Dislikes drought[
1
Title
RHS Dictionary of Plants plus Supplement. 1956
Publication
 
Author
F. Chittendon.
Publisher
Oxford University Press
Year
1951
ISBN
-
Description
Comprehensive listing of species and how to grow them. Somewhat outdated, it has been replaced in 1992 by a new dictionary (see [200]).
].
New shoots appear from mid spring[
25
Title
Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Lawson.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
Fairly comprehensive, it was once the standard work but is now rather dated. Deals with species hardy in Britain, giving cultivation details and some uses.
].
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Bamboos have an interesting method of growth. Each plant produces a number of new stems annually - these stems grow to their maximum height in their first year of growth, subsequent growth in the stem being limited to the production of new side branches and leaves.
Bamboos in general are usually monocarpic, living for many years before flowering, then flowering and seeding profusely for a period of 1 - 3 years before usually dying. This pattern can vary - sometimes flowering is sporadic, with plants flowering annually and not dying; at other times it is gregarious with all the plants in a specific species coming into flower at the same time.
This species often flowers lightly for a number of years without dying out though it seldom produces viable seed[
122
Title
The Plantsman. Vol. 1. 1979 - 1980.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1979
ISBN
-
Description
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants. A good article on the flowering of bamboos.
]. Occasionally the plants can produce an abundance of flowers and this severely weakens, though does not usually kill, the plants. They can take some years to recover. If fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time the plants are more likely to die[
122
Title
The Plantsman. Vol. 1. 1979 - 1980.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1979
ISBN
-
Description
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants. A good article on the flowering of bamboos.
]. Many plants flowered heavily in the late 1980's and are only slowly recovering.

Edible Uses

Young shoots - cooked[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
]. Harvested in the late spring when about 8 - 10cm above ground level, cutting the stems 5cm or more below soil level. They have a rather bitter flavour[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].

Seed - used as a cereal[
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
]. Small quantities of seed are produced in many years but it is seldom viable.

Medicinal

The leaves are anthelmintic, antivinous, stimulant, tonic[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
]. A wash is used in the treatment of favus of children and other eruptions[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

The root is cooling and is used in the treatment of fevers[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

The bark is used in decoction for the cure of hemorrhage from the bladder[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

The sap is used in the treatment of ulcerated sore mouth, ophthalmia, and toothache[
178
Title
Chinese Materia Medica.
Publication
 
Author
Stuart. Rev. G. A.
Publisher
Taipei. Southern Materials Centre
Year
1911
ISBN
-
Description
A translation of an ancient Chinese herbal. Fascinating.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Plants can be grown along the river edge to protect the banks from erosion[
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
].
Tolerant of maritime exposure, it can be grown as a screen or windbreak hedge in very exposed positions[
75
Title
Shelter Trees and Hedges.
Publication
 
Author
Rosewarne experimental horticultural station.
Publisher
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A small booklet packed with information on trees and shrubs for hedging and shelterbelts in exposed maritime areas.
,
166
Title
The Milder Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Taylor. J.
Publisher
Dent
Year
1990
ISBN
 
Description
A good book on plants that you didn't know could be grown outdoors in Britain.
]. The culms make an excellent wind filter, slowing its speed without creating turbulence. The leaves may look somewhat tattered by the end of the winter but plants will soon produce new leaves[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. The hedge is also very effective in reducing noise, such as that of road traffic.

Other Uses

Canes are fairly thin walled but make very good plant supports[
25
Title
Bamboos.
Publication
 
Author
Lawson.
Publisher
Faber
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
Fairly comprehensive, it was once the standard work but is now rather dated. Deals with species hardy in Britain, giving cultivation details and some uses.
,
75
Title
Shelter Trees and Hedges.
Publication
 
Author
Rosewarne experimental horticultural station.
Publisher
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Year
1984
ISBN
-
Description
A small booklet packed with information on trees and shrubs for hedging and shelterbelts in exposed maritime areas.
,
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
]. Smaller canes can be plaited together and used as screens or as lathes for walls and ceilings[
195
Title
The Book of Bamboo
Publication
 
Author
Farrelly. D.
Publisher
Sierra Club.
Year
1984
ISBN
0-87156-825-X
Description
Very readable, giving lots of information on the uses of bamboos, both temperate and tropical.
].

Propagation

Seed - if possible, surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20°c. 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 late spring as new growth commences. Very easy, single canes of the current years growth can be used. Pot them up in light shade in a greenhouse. Make sure the foliage is not allowed to dry out - misting 2 - 3 times a day for the first couple of weeks following division can be very helpful. Plant out in the summer once they are growing away strongly.
Cane layering in May. Detach individual canes and lay them horizontally in trenches 15cm deep. New shoots should arise from each joint.
Rhizome cuttings.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2019-10-17. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Pseudosasa+japonica>

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