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Pseudosasa japonica - (Siebold.&Zucc. ex Steud.)Makino. ex Nakai.

Common Name Metake - Bamboo
Family Poaceae or Gramineae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Shoots may contain toxic cyanogens (removed by cooking)[301]. Do not use during pregnancy [301].
Habitats Woodland and damp places, forming thickets in open country, C. and S. Japan[162].
Range E. Asia - Japan. Frequently naturalized in Britain.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
Pseudosasa japonica Metake - Bamboo

Pseudosasa japonica Metake - Bamboo


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Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Pseudosasa japonica is an evergreen Bamboo growing to 4.5 m (14ft) by 3 m (9ft).
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, prefers well-drained soil and can grow in nutritionally poor soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist or wet soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


Arundinaria japonica. Arundinaria metake. Bambusa japonica. Bambusa metake. Sasa japonica.

Plant Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Shady Edge; not Deep Shade; Hedge; Bog Garden;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Seed  Shoots  Stem
Edible Uses:

Young shoots - cooked[2, 105, 177]. Harvested in the late spring when about 8 - 10cm above ground level, cutting the stems 5cm or more below soil level. They have a rather bitter flavour[K]. Seed - used as a cereal[105]. Small quantities of seed are produced in many years but it is seldom viable.

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.
Abortifacient  Anthelmintic  Antivinous  Aphrodisiac  Stimulant  Tonic

Anthelmintic, antivinous, stimulant, tonic[178]. Used orally in Chinese medicine for asthma, coughs and gallbladder disorders. In India leaves are used for spasmodic disorders of the stomach and to arrest bleeding [301]. Leaves used as a aphrodisiac [301].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Hedge  Hedge  Plant support  Soil stabilization

Plants can be grown along the river edge to protect the banks from erosion[195]. Canes are fairly thin walled but make very good plant supports[25, 75, 195]. Smaller canes can be plaited together and used as screens or as lathes for walls and ceilings[195]. Tolerant of maritime exposure, it can be grown as a screen or windbreak hedge in very exposed positions[75, 166]. The culms make an excellent wind filter, slowing its speed without creating turbulence. The leaves may look somewhat tattered by the end of the winter but plants will soon produce new leaves[K].

Special Uses

Food Forest  Hedge  Hedge

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

One of the easiest bamboos to grow in Britain, it prefers an open loam of fair quality and a position sheltered from cold drying winds[1, 11, 29] but it tolerates maritime exposure[75, 166]. Succeeds on peaty soils[11]. Succeeds in soils that are half earth and half stone[195]. Requires abundant moisture and plenty of organic matter in the soil[200]. Endures near-saturated soil conditions[200]. Dislikes drought[1]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is said to be the hardiest bamboo[25], tolerating temperatures down to about -15°c[200]. Down to -24°c according to another report. In warmer parts of Britain plants can attain a height of 6 metres or more. The rootstock is running and very invasive[25]. It is fairly easy to control, however, if any new shoots that are not wanted are broken off whilst they are still small and brittle. New shoots appear from April[25]. This species is notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Plants often flower lightly for a number of years without dying out though they seldom produce viable seed[122]. Occasionally the plants can produce an abundance of flowers and this severely weakens, though does not usually kill, the plants. They can take some years to recover. If fed with artificial NPK fertilizers at this time the plants are more likely to die[122]. Many plants flowered heavily in the late 1980's and are only slowly recovering.

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 is best sown as soon as it is obtained. 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 when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a lightly shaded place in the greenhouse until they are large enough to plant out, which might take a few years. Plants only flower at intervals of several years and so seed is rarely available. Division in late spring as new growth commences. Very easy, single canes of the current years growth 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 division can be very helpful. Plant out in the summer once they are growing away strongly. Cane layering in May. Detach individual canes and lay them horizontally in trenches 15cm deep. New shoots should arise from each joint. Rhizome cuttings.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

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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
Pseudosasa amabilisTonkin BambooBamboo6.0 5-9  LMHFSNM001

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


(Siebold.&Zucc. ex Steud.)Makino. ex Nakai.

Botanical References


Links / References

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