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Dendrocalamus latiflorus - Munro.

Common Name Sweet Bamboo, Sweet bamboo shoot, Taiwan giant bamboo
Family Poaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Not known
Range E. Asia - southern China, Myanmar, Vietnam.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Full sun
Dendrocalamus latiflorus Sweet Bamboo, Sweet bamboo shoot, Taiwan giant bamboo

Dendrocalamus latiflorus Sweet Bamboo, Sweet bamboo shoot, Taiwan giant bamboo


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Dendrocalamus latiflorus or commonly known as Sweet Bamboo is found in East Asia specifically in southern China, Myanmar, and Vietnam. It is densely tufted, sympodial, and evergreen. Its culm is erect with a pendulous tip and reaches a height of up to 25 m and diameter of up to 20 cm. Young shoots are edible either raw or cooked. Mature culms are used as water pipes or made into small rafts, baskets, paper pulp, and for house construction. D. latiflorus is sometimes used as an ornamental plant. Plants can be grown from seed or by rhizome and culm cuttings.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Dendrocalamus latiflorus 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. The flowers are pollinated by Wind.
Suitable for: light (sandy), 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 latiflora (Munro.) Kurz Sinocalamus latiflorus (Munro.) McClure.


Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Shoots  Stem
Edible Uses:

Young stems - raw or cooked[ 301 ]. Unusually free of any unpleasant taste, even when raw[ 301 ]. Considered to be delicious[ 310 ]. They are also shredded and dried then used in Chinese-style snacks in Japan[ 301 ]. The stems can be 15 - 30cm in diameter[ 266 ]. Young shoots are harvested 7 - 25 days after emergence, when they are 35 - 60 cm tall. Harvesting may start in the 2nd year of growth of a clump[ 310 ]. Harvested shoots are steamed, cut lengthwise, cleaned and sterilized for 15 minutes in pure or salted boiling water before eating or canning[ 310 ]. When boiled in pure water a white compound (containing 90% tyrosine) usually precipitates, which can be removed by boiling for 1.5 hours in a 0.06 - 0.07% citric acid solution, followed by 12 hours of washing. For the production of fermented dry shoots, the middle parts of shoots are boiled first and then left to ferment for 2 - 4 weeks, and subsequently sliced into parts of 4 - 5 cm x 2.8 mm[ 310 ]. In the Philippines harvested culms are either dried directly in the sun or shade or first kept in running water for several weeks before being air dried[ 310 ].

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

Basketry  Biomass  Fibre  Fibre  Packing  Paper  Pipes  Wood

Other Uses: The leaves are used to make hats, roofs for boats and as material for packing[ 310 ]. The culm is erect with a pendulous tip, growing 14 - 25 metres tall, 8 - 20 cm in diameter at the base, with a wall 5 - 30mm thick and internodes that are 20 - 70 cm long[ 310 ]. Mature culms are used as water pipes, to make small rafts for fishing in streams, to weave baskets, and are also used in house construction and for making paper pulp[ 310 ]. Harvesting of culms may start when clumps are 3 - 7 years old. To ensure sustainable yields, only over-mature and a few mature culms should be harvested at one time, and the number of harvested culms should not exceed 60% of the standing mature culms[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

Succeeds in subtropical conditions, as well as in lowland to moderate elevations in the tropics[ 310 ]. It is found at elevations up to 1,000 metres in Taiwan, where it can tolerate temperatures as low as -4°c[ 310 ]. It prefers areas of high rainfall[ 310 ]. Grows best in moist, fertile soils[ 310 ]. Heavy clay, gravel alkaline or acidic soils are not suitable for the production of edible shoots[ 310 ]. Vegetatively propagated plants can develop within 3 years into clumps with 20 - 25 culms, on average 5 - 6 metres tall and 3 - 4cm in diameter[ 310 ]. Five year old plants can have a culm height in the region of 15 metres with a diameter of 7cm[ 310 ]. A 1 - 2 year-old culm can produce 5 - 10 shoots weighing 3 - 5 kg[ 310 ]. Average young shoot production per clump increases in the first 5 years after planting from 30 kg in the 2nd year to 60 kg in the 3rd year to 80 kg in the 4th year, to a maximum of about 100 kg in the 5th year[ 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 ]. The plant is used in breeding programmes to develop hybrid cultivars that grow fast and provide quality construction material with wide adaptability and high economic value, or to provide better tasting shoots[ 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. Flowering is rare in Taiwan; though sporadic flowering and fruiting is a normal occurrence in the Philippines, Indonesia and China[ 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

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Seed - sow in containers and only just cover. Germination usually takes place readily - usually about 90% germination within 2 weeks[ 310 ]. Prick out into individual pots as soon as the plants are large enough to handle. Plant out into permanent positions when 20cm tall. Plants may remain in their low-growing juvenile state for several years - cutting the culms to the ground level can stimulate taller adult growth[ 200 ]. The seed rapidly loses its viability[ 310 ]. As seed is usually rather rare, vegetative propagation by cuttings is normal practice. The preferred cuttings are taken from 2-year-old culms, are 50 cm long (2-noded), and are planted horizontally 6 - 10 cm deep. The rooted cuttings are preferably transplanted in the rainy season when 2 years old[ 310 ].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Ma bamboo, Big jute bamboo, Machiku, Ma-chu,

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Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Asia, Australia, Burma, China, Indochina, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pacific, Philippines, SE Asia, Taiwan, Thailand, USA, Vietnam,

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 .

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Dendrocalamus hamiltoniiTama Bamboo. Tufted bambooBamboo15.0 10-12 FLMHSNM303
Dendrocalamus hookeriBhalu bans, Bhutan Green BambooBamboo20.0 10-12 FLMHSNM203
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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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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.

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