Practical Description

The members of the family Gramineae are tall woody shoots of perennial grasses. The reproductive organs resemble the grasses, particularly the oat (Avena sativa). The anthers are borne on long filaments resembling those of corn (Zea mais) (2).

ORIGIN, DISTRIBUTION, AND PRODUCTION

The majority of the edible bamboos originated in China, Japan, and Southeast Asia. Some are wild and others are cultivated. The use of bamboo shoots outside of this area is restricted (1). The important edible species include the tropical clump bamboos, Bambusa oldhami Nakai and Dendrocalamus latiflorus Munro (Fig. 1), and the spreading bamboos. Phyllostachys edulis (Fig. 2), P. pubescens, and P. makinoi, which are not confined to the tropics.

The planted area of edible bamboos in Taiwan is ca 30,000 ha with an average yield of 12 t/ha. The annual production of bamboo shoots in 1989 was 401,152 t (3).

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