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Pleioblastus simonii - (Carrière.)Nakai.

Common Name Medake, Simon bamboo
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range E. Asia - China, Japan. Locally naturalized in Britain[50].
Edibility Rating    (3 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Pleioblastus simonii Medake, Simon bamboo

Pleioblastus simonii Medake, Simon bamboo


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Pleioblastus simonii is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 4.5 m (14ft 9in) at a fast rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 6. It is in leaf all year. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Arundinaria simonii. Bambusa simonii. B. viridistriata. Nipponocalamus simonii.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Hedge;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed  Shoots  Stem
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked[25, 61, 105]. 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[K]. The new shoots are about 20mm in diameter[K]. Seed cooked. As a grass seed the paper husk must be removed before eating.

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

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Plant support  Wood

Canes are thin walled but extremely strong, they can be used as plant supports, also for fencing etc[25, 61, 74, 195]. Often used in China for making fan handles, poles and in various handicrafts[195]. Tolerant of maritime exposure and very hardy and vigorous, this plant makes a good screen or hedge[25, 166, 195].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Hedge  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A very easily grown bamboo, it succeeds in most soils but prefers a good loamy soil in sun or semi-shade[1]. Dislikes drought[1]. Tolerates maritime exposure[166]. A very hardy plant, it can tolerate temperatures down to between -20 and -25°c. The rootstock is running and very invasive[11, 25, 166]. Another report says that it is a vigorous grower but not invasive[195]. New shoots are produced from May[25]. The canes are harvested commercially for their many uses in Japan[195]. It is the third most commonly cultivated species in Japan[195]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Unlike many bamboos, this plant quite often flowers and sets viable seed, the plants do not usually die as a result of this[122]. However, if they are fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time they are far less likely to survive[122].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Plant Propagation

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.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Native Range

TEMPERATE ASIA: Japan (Honshu (west), Kyushu, Shikoku)

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 :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Pleioblastus gramineus Bamboo3.0 6-9  LMHSM201
Pleioblastus hindsiiHinds' cane-bambooBamboo3.5 6-9 MLMHFSM303
Pleioblastus humilis Bamboo2.0 6-9  LMHSM003
Pleioblastus humilis pumilus Bamboo1.0 6-9  LMHSM003
Pleioblastus intermedius Bamboo3.0 -  LMHSM002
Pleioblastus juxianensis Bamboo2.0 -  LMHSM002
Pleioblastus maculatus Bamboo4.0 6-9  LMHSM003
Pleioblastus pygmaeusDwarf Fern-Leaf Bamboo, Pigmy BambooBamboo0.3 7-10 FLMHSNM003
Pleioblastus pygmaeus distichusPigmy Bamboo, Dwarf Fern Leaf BambooBamboo0.8 7-10 FLMHSNM003
Pleioblastus variegatusDwarf White-Striped Bamboo, Chigo Zasa, Dwarf White Stripe BambooBamboo0.8 7-10 FLMHSNM003

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.


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