By Walter de Rooij
Phyllostachys Nidularia (Broom Bamboo) is an evergreen, running (monopodial) bamboo. It can act like a clumping (sympodial) bamboo in cooler climates (like the UK), although you shouldn’t count on this. So if you want to prevent spreading either build a rhizome barrier or harvest the young shoots aggressively. Broom bamboo is cultivated as a source of food and materials and can also be used for soil stabilization. (Broom Bamboo is hermaphrodite (meaning it has both female and male organs) and is wind pollinated.
Broom bamboo grows on a wide variety of soil, from sandy to clay and from acid to alkaline. It can grow in full sun or, as in its native forest environment, in partial shade.
Broom bamboo tolerates frost up to -10C/14F (with some reports of it withstanding -18C/0.4F) but does not like prolonged exposure to hard frosts.
It likes to grow in moist soil, can stand very wet soils and can even withstand occasional flooding.
Great Builder in the Garden
Broom bamboo makes for a great hedge plant that can create a privacy or wind barrier. The culms can be used to build fences, erect sheds or simply as plant supports in the garden.
Aside from that Broom bamboo is a very good soil stabilizer and can be used to stabilize slopes to help prevent or stop erosion.
Broom bamboo is a great companion for climbing beans as they provide the beans with a living trellis while the beans in turn provide the bamboo with nitrogen
In the Kitchen
Young Broom bamboo shoots are some of the few bamboo shoots that don’t taste bitter, not even when they’re raw. In fact, in China they are appreciated for their delicate flavour.
Bamboo shoots are low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and rich in various nutrients. The main nutrients in bamboo shoots are protein, carbohydrates, amino acids, minerals, fat, sugar, fiber, and inorganic salts. The shoots have a good profile of minerals, consisting mainly of potassium (K), calcium (Ca), manganese, zinc, chromium, copper, iron (Fe) and selenium. So they’re definitely worth including in your diet.
Phyllostachys Nidularia Munro is the favorite food of captive giant Pandas in China.