Growing Edible Bamboo

breezyb(z6/7VA)March 27, 2005

I posted this topic on the "Bamboo" forum a while ago, but didn't get many responses.

Does anyone here grow any of the edible varieties of bamboo & harvest the fresh shoots?

I've always been interested in starting a small bamboo grove on my property & have done a bit of research. Besides seriously containing it, I've read that not only mowing, but also harvesting new shoots for cooking also helps keep it under control.

Anyone here try this? If so, what variety did you grow & how did you prepare the shoots for cooking?

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Mary Palmer

You won't get much of an answer from the bamboo forum as they want their bamboo to grow and cutting off shoots is counter productive LOL;-)
You can eat all bamboo shoots. Some are more edible and choice than others. The lowly Phyllostachys aurea is supposed to be good eating though I have never tried that one. I have had bamboo pickles before and they were very good. I have also peeled off the tough outer leaves of the new shoots to expose the tender pale vegetable inside. Slice them up and stir fry or sautee in butter and wine with some mushrooms. So much better than canned! There is a japanese garden in West Seattle that has a hard time keeping their bamboo growing because people sneak in and harvest the shoots!

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 12:58AM
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Thanks for the info!

I've only eaten the canned ones, but as I do an awful lot of Asian cooking, thought growing some & using the sprouts to keep it "semi controlled" - lol - would be fun.

There are also a number of wild stands around here - perhaps I'll be able to "try before I buy", so to speak. But of course, don't think I'd be able to make a positive I.D., so it's nice to know that I wouldn't be poisoning myself.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2005 at 8:39AM
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Just a word of caution: if it is an unidentified variety, it's better to err on the safe side and *boil* the cleaned shoots for about 10 minutes, drain them and then use them in stir-fry because some "garden varieties" of Phyllostachys sp. contain cyanide.

Here is a link that might be useful: Bamboo shoots

    Bookmark   April 20, 2005 at 5:53PM
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swvirginiadave(z6 VA)

I've grown and tasted some bamboo. Phyllostachys vivax is good. The shoots are also large in diameter so are easier to prepare. P. nuda is also good. P. dulcis is supposed to be the best of the hardy bamboos--it's supposed to be good raw--, but I haven't tried it yet. Just got one started. Black bamboo, P. nigra, is isn't so good from what I've read, but haven't eaten this one yet. All these running bamboos will become invasive once the grove gets well established, so you need to plan where you plant it. If you don't have a large area, you can use underground barriers. don't plant near your flower beds or vegetable gardens. One bamboo grove of mine sends out shoots at least 30 feet from the nearest culm.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 8:00AM
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Thanks for the tips - especially re: good edible varieties.

Actually, I have a 21-acre farm, so do have some leeway as far as planting area goes. Am in a position where I can bushhog/mow regularly to keep things in check.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2005 at 8:52AM
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I am from NSW Australia. I found this commercial site. Have you try it:

    Bookmark   May 26, 2005 at 3:34AM
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Growing edible bamboo info...

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing edible bamboo shoots

    Bookmark   July 8, 2005 at 4:18PM
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shepparton(Centr Vic Austr)

Anyone tried Bambusa Oldhami? I've got it growing here. Its a clumper not a runner. They grow very high but I haven't tried harvesting them yet...

    Bookmark   October 24, 2005 at 10:31AM
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rain1950(W. WA z8)

Well, you piqued my interest! I found this from WSU:

Most bamboo can be invasive so I think I'll double layer some more old tires and give it a go.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2005 at 10:29AM
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rogertse(NE AR)

Hello SWVirginiaDave-
How about saving one or two of those P. nuda shoots before you eat them all ? :))) I would be gladly pay for S&H for them and I would also send you lots of Chinese Vege seeds in return!

Rog in AR

    Bookmark   November 10, 2005 at 4:46AM
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I came from a region in China where variety of bamboo plants are grown on mountain hills, vegetable gardens, school yards, and rice fields (after drained). I never heard people in that area complaining about its invasive nature. I love fresh bamboo shoots. They can be sauteed, or cook with meat in stews. With creative efforts of farmers there, now the markets offer fresh bamboo shoots for 6 months a year, starting from February (before Chinese new year). My impression is that you do not have problems with its runny roots as long as you want to harvest as many shoots as you can.

I am too interested in growing bamboos for bamboo shoots. For dried bamboo shoots which can be soaked and cooked, I was told that some varieties are better than the others. So I am hoping to find one which taste better than the average. I believe that the small ones (1-2 inches in diameter) taste better than large ones. One exception is "winter bambooshoots") which were digged out of the ground before emerging and are from large bamboo plants. This is considered delicacy in China, very tender, and tastes great.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 6:23PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

Yellowgroove bamboo (Phyllostachys aureosulcata) grows in my zone 5 location. To control its invasive nature my family enjoys the young shoots raw.


    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 8:44PM
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vegidragon(z5 KS)

Hi Chervil2
I am glad to see your post. I live in zone 5 Kansas. I want to plant bamboo for fresh shoots for a long long time. But, I don't know what is the best for my area and also for taste. I checked out yellowgrove bamboo from It didn't list as edible. Are you sure it is edible. Do I need to water it a lot to get a good harvest of shoots? Thanks

    Bookmark   October 18, 2006 at 4:31PM
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The type you want is the MOSO type as we call it in Japan. The latin name is Phyllostachys Pubescens. It is grown for its shoots and the stems are used for making baskets in Japan. It grows VERY fast: on a good day, if you are really focused you can see it grow!!! It grows as a clump, so it won't overun your garden. The shoots are harvested as they come out in the spring (whenever that may be in your part of the world) and you can keep harvesting until the autumn. The shoots can also be dug up before they sprout.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2008 at 11:03AM
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I have a stand that is over ten years old. I control its range by simply kicking over new shoots, but now that the shoots are getting in the 1.5 inch diameter range I am wondering if they are edible. How do I determine what specie I have and if the shoots are edible?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2010 at 9:49PM
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I found this site that rates the taste quality of edible bamboo shoots. They are rated as either edible, good and edible, or delicious and edible.

I was just wondering if anyone is a bamboo expert and knows which of the "Delicious and edible" bamboo shoots is the fastest growing is a list of the ones rated as delicious:

Chimonobambusa macrophylla Delicious
Chimonobambusa marmorea Delicious
Chimonobambusa pachystachys Delicious
Chimonobambusa puberula Delicious
Chimonobambusa quadrangularis Delicious
Chimonobambusa rigidula Delicious
Chimonobambusa szechuanensis Delicious
Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda Delicious
Acidosasa edulis Delicious
Gigantochloa levis Delicious
Chimonocalamus delicatus Delicious
Phyilostachys incarnata Delicious
Phyllostachys acuta Delicious
Phyllostachys dulcis Delicious
Phyllostachys edulis f. edulis Delicious
Phyllostachys elegans Delicious
Phyllostachys fimbriligula Delicious
Phyllostachys flexuosa Delicious
Phyllostachys glabrata Delicious
Phyllostachys iridescens Delicious
Phyllostachys nidularia Delicious
Phyllostachys nigella Delicious
Phyllostachys nigra f. henonis Delicious
Phyllostachys nuda Delicious
Phyllostachys nuda 'Ink-finger' Delicious
Phyllostachys parvffolia Delicious
Phyllostachys platyglossa Delicious
Phyllostachys praecox Delicious
Phyllostachys praecox f. viridisulcata Delicious
Phyllostachys rivalis Delicious
Phyllostachys vivax Delicious
Phyllostachys yunhoensis Delicious

youtube video on bamboo, pyrolysis, bio-char, and mycorrhizal fungi ....

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 4:08AM
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