Arundinaria brachyclada Matsum.
Arundinaria simonii (Carrière) Rivière & C.Rivière
Bambusa albostriata Lavallée
Bambusa japonica Rob.
Bambusa metake André
Bambusa simonii Carrière
Nipponocalamus diversus (Nakai) Nakai
Nipponocalamus kiyosumisimonii (Koidz.) Honda
Nipponocalamus pseudogracilis (Koidz.) Nakai
Nipponocalamus simonii (Carrière) Nakai
Pleioblastus diversus Nakai
Pleioblastus kiyosumisimonii Koidz.
Pleioblastus pseudogracilis Koidz.
Common Name: Medake
Pleioblastus simonii is an evergreen bamboo that can grow 1 - 6 metres tall; the erect, woody culms are 20 - 25mm 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.
The canes are harvested commercially for their many uses in Japan[
]. It is the third most commonly cultivated species in Japan[
]. The plant is grown as an ornamental, where it makes a very good hedge.
The plant has a running rootstock and the potential to become invasive. On our land, in Cornwall, England, it has proved to be very well behaved and only spreads slowly[
E. Asia - central and southern Japan
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Pleioblastus simonii is a very hardy plant, it can tolerate temperatures down to between -20 and -25°c.
A very easily grown bamboo, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a good loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[
]. Dislikes drought[
]. Tolerates maritime exposure[
The rootstock is running and very invasive[
]. Another report says that it is a vigorous grower but not invasive[
]. New shoots are produced from May[
This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[
Bamboos have an interesting method of growth. Each plant produces a number of new stems annually - usually in the spring and early summer, and these stems grow to their maximum height in their first two to three months. Any subsequent growth in the stem is 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.
Unlike many bamboos, this species quite often flowers and sets viable seed, the plants do not usually die as a result of this[
]. However, if they are fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time they are far less likely to survive[
Young shoots - cooked[
]. They have a very bitter flavour, this bitterness is considerably reduced by changing the water at least once during the cooking process - though this will also remove quite a few of the nutrients[
]. The shoots, which are around 20mm in diameter[
], are harvested when about 8cm above the ground, cutting them about 5cm below soil level.
Tolerant of maritime exposure and very hardy and vigorous, this plant makes a good screen or hedge[
Canes are thin walled but extremely strong, they can be used as plant supports, also for fencing etc[
]. They are often used in China for making fan handles, poles and in various handicrafts[
Seed - if possible, surface sow the seed as soon as it is ripe in a greenhouse at about 20°c. Stored seed should be sown as soon as it is received. 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 when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse or cold frame until they are large enough to plant out, which could be a number of years. The plants only flower at intervals of several years and so seed is rarely available.
Division in spring as new growth commences. Very easy, single canes 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 divsion can be very helpful. Plant out in the summer once they are growing away strongly.