Sunday, May 17, 2015

Takenokawa----that time of year again

This is a new bamboo cane and it's growing almost 1' a day.
Ah Spring, when the lusty thoughts of young men everywhere turn to takenokawa.
The bamboo is growing at the rate of a foot a day and that means about once a day, the thin, tough culm that surrounds the growing segment is dropping off too.
I noticed new bamboo shoots in the garden last week and knew it was time to go hunting.
I have a large paper bag as I won't need anything else.

Thank you spring; you have replenished my supply of baren-leaf covers (barengawa) for the year.
(This stand of bamboo has canes that range from 1" to almost 3.5" in diameter....the largest will easily open to 14-15cm when dampened and stretched and a great many of the smaller ones will stretch to 12-14cm...enough to cover my home-made barens).  It rained yesterday so I'll let these sit outside today as there is a drying wind and I'll put them away later before it gets damp in the evening.  I'll check again in a few days as there will be as many again littering the ground.
I recommend you go visit your botanical garden soon with a shopping bag.


  1. Wow. I've been thinking about adding a bamboo "screen" to my garden for the past couple years. I never thought about this added benefit!!! Others I know (who would gladly give me starts) complain about the invasiveness. Is it manageable?

    1. It depends on the variety. This one gets cut regularly from the perimeter (for garden stakes, fencing, swordplay(kids), etc so the peripheral growth is contained by cutting. The kind we have in the US is terrible and has broken concrete slabs and crossed entire yards to come up in a third yard distant.......(but the bamboo I dug out of my yard in California showed me where there was a clay deposit, and with the clay I made adobe and then a pizza oven.....).

  2. Broken concrete slabs? That must be why a friend is tentative about sharing hers and told me she's afraid I'll be mad at her in a couple years. It would go in a raised bed beside a path I mow, so I think it might work. I'd rather have a useful invasive plant than the honeysuckle and poison ivy I'm always pulling out of that spot. Thanks!