We have recently published ‘Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions’: i.e. tropical and sub-tropical regions. We rely on regular donations to keep our free database going and help fund development of this and another book we are planning on food forest plants for Mediterranean climates. Please give what you can to keep PFAF properly funded. More >>>

Follow Us:


Bambusa blumeana - Schult. & Schult.f.

Common Name Spiny Bamboo. Spiny bamboo, Thorny bamboo
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Often found on heavy soils and on marginal land at elevations up to 300 metres, it grows well along river banks, hill slopes and freshwater creeks and tolerates flooding[310 ].
Range Exact origin uncertain, but believed to be native in Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sunda Islands and Borneo.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Bambusa blumeana Spiny Bamboo. Spiny bamboo, Thorny bamboo

Bambusa blumeana Spiny Bamboo. Spiny bamboo, Thorny bamboo


Translate this page:


A Tropical/Subtropical densely clumping bamboo. Leaves are lance-shaped and on average 10-20 cm long and 12-25 mm wide. Shoots are edible and consumed as a vegetable.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Bambusa blumeana is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 20 m (65ft) by 10 m (32ft) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Bambusa pungens Blanco Bambusa spinosa Blume ex Nees

Plant Habitats

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Shoots
Edible Uses:

Young shoots are eaten as a vegetable, usually boiled and shredded[46 , 310 ]. The young shoots are harvested as they emerge from the soil.

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

The Bookshop: Edible Plant Books

Our Latest books on Perennial Plants For Food Forests and Permaculture Gardens in paperback or digital formats.

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Tropical Plants

Food Forest Plants for Hotter Conditions: 250+ Plants For Tropical Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.
Edible Temperate Plants

Plants for Your Food Forest: 500 Plants for Temperate Food Forests & Permaculture Gardens.

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital media.
More Books

PFAF have eight books available in paperback and digital formats. Browse the shop for more information.

Shop Now

Other Uses

Basketry  Fencing  Fuel  Furniture  Paper  Shelterbelt  Soil stabilization  Wood

Agroforestry Uses: It is often planted along water courses to prevent soil erosion[310. Planted around farmhouses as wind-breaks, in fields as living fences or to mark boundaries[310 ]. Other Uses The culms walls are up to 3 cm thick; the internodes are usually hollow, 25 - 60cm long[418 ]. They are used as scaffolding in construction, for basketry (baskets are very popular), furniture, parquets, concrete reinforcements, kitchen utensils, chopsticks, hats and toys[266 , 310 ]. They are suitable for making paper[310 ]. They are also used as firewood if wood is scarce[310 ]. The natural durability of untreated culms is poor: 1 - 3 years outdoors, 2 - 5 years indoors, 6 months or less in seawater[310 ].

Special Uses

Carbon Farming  Food Forest

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

Industrial Crop: Biomass  Management: Managed Multistem  Minor Global Crop  Other Systems: Multistrata  Other Systems: Strip intercrop

A plant of the lowland tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 300 metres. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 18 - 32c, but can tolerate 8 - 37°c[418 ]. It can be killed by temperatures of -1c or lower[418 ]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 4,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 5,000mm[418 ]. Plants grow best on heavier, fertile soils[310 ]. Intolerant of saline soils[310 ]. Tolerant of occasional inundation of the soil[418 ].Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7[418 ]. Planted culm cuttings at first send up thin shoots and culms are produced only after about 3 years. The number and size of the culms produced increases yearly until the clump reaches maturity. A planted cutting develops into a harvestable clump in 6 - 8 years. A mature clump (containing 10 - 40 culms) may develop about 30 shoots per year of which only about one-third to one-fourth reaches maturity because of diseases and pests, wind damage, and shortage of water and nutrients[310 ]. New shoots emerge during the rainy season and can be harvested for food after 7 - 15 days[310 ]. 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. In the case of some mature tropical species the new stem could be as much as 30 metres tall, with daily increases in height of 30cm or more during their peak growth time. This makes them some of the fastest-growing species in the world[K ]. Culms reach about full height in approximately 5 months, which means for the larger culms (growing to 25 metres or more) there is a daily height increase of about 17 cm. The most rapid growth usually occurs near the end of the growth period in the latter part of the rainy season. In that period, daily height increase may reach 45 cm on average[310 ]. The harvesting of culms depends on the intended end use but should preferably be effected in the dry season. For handicraft purposes, 1-year-old culms can be taken. For construction purposes, 3-year-old culms are suitable. Culms are cut 2 - 3 metres above the ground, just above the dense growth of spiny branches. The remaining basal portion should be cut back close to the ground within 6 months of the harvest. In order to ensure sustained yield, the number of culms that can be cut annually should not exceed 60% of the standing mature culms in the clump[310 ]. About 6 - 7 edible shoots can be harvested per clump per year[310 ]. Managed (cleaned) clumps produce an average of 8 mature culms per year (800 - 1200/ha), whilst unmanaged (uncleaned) clumps only 5 (500 - 750/ha)[310 ]. Removal of the basal spiny thickets and basal parts of harvested culms makes access easier, promotes the development of healthy shoots and reduces the number of deformed culms[310 ]. 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. Spiny bamboo flowers very rarely, perhaps once in 20 - 30 years[310 ].

Carbon Farming

  • Industrial Crop: Biomass  Three broad categories: bamboos, resprouting woody plants, and giant grasses. uses include: protein, materials (paper, building materials, fibers, biochar etc.), chemicals (biobased chemicals), energy - biofuels
  • Management: Managed Multistem  Regularly removing some multiple stems. A non-A non-destructive management systems maintaining the soil organic carbon.
  • Minor Global Crop  These crops are already grown or traded around the world, but on a smaller scale than the global perennial staple and industrial crops, The annual value of a minor global crop is under $1 billion US. Examples include shea, carob, Brazil nuts and fibers such as ramie and sisal.
  • Other Systems: Multistrata  Multistrata agroforests feature multiple layers of trees often with herbaceous perennials, annual crops, and livestock.
  • Other Systems: Strip intercrop  Tree crops grown in rows with alternating annual crops.

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:



The PFAF Bookshop

Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees,Edible Shrubs, Woodland Gardening, and Temperate Food Forest Plants. Our new book is Food Forest Plants For Hotter Conditions (Tropical and Sub-Tropical).

Shop Now

Plant Propagation

Seed - surface sow in containers as soon as it is ripe, preferably at a temperature around 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 containers when they are large enough to handle and grow on in a lightly shaded place until large enough to plant out. Plants only flower at intervals of many years and so seed is rarely available. Division as new growth commences[220 ]. 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 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[200 ]. Propagation by culm cuttings is most common. Culm cuttings about 50 cm long (with 2 - 3 nodes) are taken from the middle portion of 1 - 2-year-old culms with a relatively large diameter. They are planted horizontally at 10 cm depth. They should be planted immediately in a nursery or directly into the field in direct sunlight. Planting is preferably done at the beginning of the rainy season. After planting, mulch is distributed around the plant[310 ]. Good results have also been obtained with 3-noded-cuttings from branches, up to 1.5 cm in diameter, from 1 - 2-year-old culms. Treated with 100 ppm IAA and planted in a sand bed, the cuttings could be potted when rooted (after about 20 days) and transplanted to the field after 2 - 3 months[310 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Bambu duri, Bambu gesing, Buloh duri, Buloh sikai, Gesing bamboo, Haur chuchuk, Haur cucuk, Kauayan-tinik, Kida, Mai phai ban, Phai-sisuk, Phaix banz, Piao lahe, Pio titoca, Pring gesing, Pring ori, Ru'ssei roliek, Tituka, Tre gai, Tre la nga

Asia, Australia, Cambodia, China, Guam, India, Indochina, Indonesia, Kiribati, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Myanmar, Pacific, Palau, Philippines, SE Asia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Yap

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Bambusa atraClumping Bamboo. Long pipe bamboo.Bamboo8.0 10-12 FLMHNMWe203
Bambusa bambosGiant Thorny BambooBamboo30.0 10-12 FMHSNM335
Bambusa heterostachyaMalay Dwarf GreenBamboo8.0 10-12 FLMHSNM003
Bambusa multiplexHedge Bamboo, Chinese Goddess BambooBamboo4.5 8-11 FLMSNM203
Bambusa nutansNodding Bamboo, Mai bongBamboo12.0 9-10 FLMHSNM204
Bambusa odashimaeOdashimae BambooBamboo15.0 9-12 FLMHSNM400
Bambusa oldhamiiRyoku-Chiku, Giant Timber Bamboo, Oldham's BambooBamboo6.0 9-12  LMHSNM203
Bambusa pervariabilisClumping BambooBamboo8.0 9-11 FLMHSNM304
Bambusa polymorphaBurmese bamboo, Jama BetuaBamboo12.0 9-12 FLMHSNM204
Bambusa textilisClumping Bamboo. Weaver's bambooBamboo8.0 7-11 FLMHSNM304
Bambusa tuldaBengal Bamboo. Spineless Indian bambooBamboo15.0 10-12 FLMHSNM204
Bambusa vulgarisCommon BambooBamboo20.0 9-12 FLMHSNM324
Chimonobambusa marmoreaKan-ChikuBamboo1.5 5-9 FLMHSNM103
Chimonobambusa pachystachysThorny BambooBamboo5.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Chimonobambusa purpurea Bamboo5.0 -  LMHSNM102
Chimonobambusa quadrangularisSquare BambooBamboo3.0 5-9  LMHSM203
Chimonobambusa szechuanensis Bamboo5.0 -  LMHFSNM103

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


Expert comment


Schult. & Schult.f.

Botanical References

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

Readers comment

Add a comment

If you have important information about this plant that may help other users please add a comment or link below. Only comments or links that are felt to be directly relevant to a plant will be included. If you think a comment/link or information contained on this page is inaccurate or misleading we would welcome your feedback at [email protected]. If you have questions about a plant please use the Forum on this website as we do not have the resources to answer questions ourselves.

* Please note: the comments by website users are not necessarily those held by PFAF and may give misleading or inaccurate information.

To leave a comment please Register or login here All comments need to be approved so will not appear immediately.

Subject : Bambusa blumeana  
© 2010, Plants For A Future. Plants For A Future is a charitable company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Charity No. 1057719, Company No. 3204567.