Forest Floor Bamboo pages
At Forest Floor tree nursery in Northland, Simon Vallings grows a huge range of plants for the diverse needs of farmers.
Moso, Phyllostachys edulis is a giant running bamboo and is highly suitable for dairy farm plantings.
Reaching up to 250 mm in diameter at maturity, the graceful bamboo culms soar to over 20 metres high. New shoots emerge in early Spring, and can be peeled and boiled to provide a nutritious and tasty food. The golden stems are clear of branches for 10 metres, yielding valuable furniture wood. The leaves are nutritious for stock and can be chopped down for drought fodder.
Moso produces spreading rhizomes and will gradually increase in size. However it runs slowly compared to its more vigorous relations, and is easily managed because the new shoots are delicate and edible. Outward growth is stopped by waterlogged soil, or by stock.
In New Zealand Moso is planted as an ornamental, as an edible shelter plant, and for timber production. It has the ability to take up surplus nitrogen so is ideal for the edge of a dairy effluent treatment wetland. Moso can also be planted to intercept runoff and prevent erosion. Little wonder that such a versatile plant is the most widely cultivated bamboo in the world.
This bamboo, unlike others, is hardy, withstanding -10 degrees of frost and drought (once established). To reach its high yielding potential it prefers some shelter, a fertile site and moisture in late summer.
Seedlings will live for up to 100 years before they all flower together. This curious habit, 'gregarious flowering', has restricted the availability of plants, because seed is not often available, the only plant material available being huge divisions of established plants. Our seedlings are available following a flowering in China.
Page last updated: 20/05/02