Edible Bamboo Species

Edible Bamboo Species

Of the 1575 known bamboo species worldwide, 110 species are recorded to have edible shoots. Edible meaning a satisfactory to delicious taste, because even though some bamboo shoots are classified as edible, they must be carefully prepared and boiled before consuming!

Bamboo shoots may contain significant, potentially very toxic amounts of cyanogenic glycosides. Various reports even place bamboo shoots amongst the most potentially toxic plant materials, exceeding apricot, bitter almond stones and considerably exceeding that of cassava.

However, the cyanogenic glycoside in bamboo is in fact taxiphyllin. Taxiphyllin is unusual amongst other similar compounds in the sense that it degrades readily in boiling water. Thus boiling bamboo shoots or cooking bamboo shoots should remove any problem.

>> Click here for more information about the impact of cyanide on humans and how to boil and prepare bamboo shoots.

A Complete List of all known Edible Bamboo Species

Records - of

Species Name


Acidosasa edulis Delicious
Acidosasa Iingchuanensis Edible
Bambusa balcooa Good
Bambusa bambos Edible
Bambusa beecheyana Good
Bambusa blumeana Good
Bambusa gibboides Good
Bambusa polymorpha Good
Bambusa tulda Good
Bambusa tuldoides Good
Bambusa vulgaris Edible
Chimonobambusa communis Good
Chimonobambusa macrophylla Delicious
Chimonobambusa marmorea Delicious
Chimonobambusa pachystachys Delicious
Chimonobambusa puberula Delicious
Chimonobambusa quadrangularis Delicious
Chimonobambusa rigidula Delicious
Chimonobambusa szechuanensis Delicious
Chimonobambusa tumidissinoda Delicious
Chimonobambusa utilis Good
Chimonocalamus delicatus Delicious
Dendrocalamus asper Good
Dendrocalamus brandisii Good
Dendrocalamus giganteus Good
Dendrocalamus latiflorus Good
Dendrocalamus latiflorus 'Mei-Nung' Good
Dendrocalamus membranaceus Edible
Dendrocalamus strictus Edible
Fargesia robusta Edible
Gigantochloa atter Good
Gigantochloa levis Delicious
Gigantochloa ligulata Good
Gigantochloa nigrociliata Good
Gigantochloa pruriens Good
Gigantochloa robusta Good
Gigantochloa thoii Good
Guadua sarcocarpa Good
Himalayacalamus falconeri Good
Nastus elatus Edible
Oxytenanthera abyssinica Edible
Phyllostachys acuta Delicious
Phyllostachys angusta Edible
Phyllostachys arcana Edible
Phyllostachys atrovaginata Edible
Phyllostachys arcana Edible
Phyllostachys atrovaginata Edible
Phyllostachys bambusoides Bitter
Phyllostachys bambusoides f. shouzhu Edible
Phyllostachys bissetii Edible
Phyllostachys circumpilis Edible
Phyilostachys concava Edible
Phyllostachys decora Edible
Phyllostachys dulcis Delicious
Phyllostachys edulis Good
Phyllostachys edulis f. edulis Delicious
Phyllostachys elegans Delicious
Phyllostachys erecta Edible
Phyllostachys fimbriata Edible
Phyllostachys fimbriligula Delicious
Phyllostachys flexuosa Delicious
Phyllostachys glabrata Delicious
Phyllostachys glauca Good
Phyllostachys glauca f. yunzhu Edible
Phyllostachys glauca var. variabilis Edible
Phyllostachys heteroclada Edible
Phyilostachys incarnata Delicious
Phyllostachys iridescens Delicious
Phyllostachys makinoi Edible
Phyllostachys meyeri Edible
Phyllostachys mirabilis Edible
Phyllostachys nidularia Delicious
Phyllostachys nidularia f. farcta Edible
Phyllostachys nidularia f. mirabilis Edible
Phyllostachys nidularia f. speciosa Edible
Phyllostachys nidularia f. sulfurea Edible
Phyllostachys nigella Delicious
Phyllostachys nigra f. henonis Delicious
Phyllostachys nuda Delicious
Phyllostachys nuda 'Ink-finger' Delicious
Phyllostachys parvffolia Delicious
Phyllostachys pingyangensis Edible
Phyllostachys platyglossa Delicious
Phyllostachys praecox Delicious
Phyllostachys praecox f. notata Edible
Phyllostachys praecox f. viridisulcata Delicious
Phyllostachys prominens Good
Phyllostachys propinqua Good
Phyllostachys propinqua f. lanuginosa Delicious
Phyllostachys purpurata 'Solidstem' Edible
Phyllostachys rivalis Delicious
Phyllostachys robustiramea Edible
Phyllostachys rubella Edible
Phyllostachys rubromarginata Edible
Phyllostachys rutila Edible
Phyllostachys sapida Edible
Phyilostachys sulphurea f. viridis Good
Phyllostachys sulphurea f. laqueata Good
Phyllostachys tianmuensis Edible
Phyllostachys viridiglaucescens Edible
Phyllostachys vivax Delicious
Phyllostachys vivax 'Huangwenzhu' Edible
Phyllostachys vivax f. aureocaulis Edible
Phyllostachys yunhoensis Delicious
Pleioblastus hindsii Edible
Sasa kurilensis Good
Sasaella masamuneana Edible
Thamnocalamus aristatus Edible
Thyrsostachys siamensis Good
Yushania maling Good
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Impact of Food-based Cyanide on Humans

Cyanide can and does cause significant health problems at sub-lethal levels. Some of the cassava-eaters in Africa have suffered harmful effects to the nervous system, including weakness of the fingers and toes, difficulty walking, dimness of vision, and deafness.

Some children who ate large quantities of apricot stones, which naturally contain cyanide as part of complex sugars, had rapid breathing, low blood pressure, headaches, and coma, and some died.


How to Detect Cyanide in Bamboo Shoots?


There are simple test kits to determine the presence of cyanide in bamboo shoots that can be used by an unskilled person for looking at cyanide levels in bamboo shoots, cassava roots and products, as well as other cyanogenic plant parts such as sorghum leaves, and flax seed meal.

The general principle is that a small sample of the plant or product is placed in a container with filter paper containing the required catalyst and a piece of picrate paper that reveals the amount of poison produced. The bottle is left overnight at room temperature. Next morning, when the breakdown to poisonous gas is completed, the color of the picrate paper indicates the level of toxicity.


How to Remove Cyanide in Bamboo Shoots?

The cyanogen in bamboo is taxiphyllin and therefore one of the few cyanogenic compounds that decompose quickly when placed in boiling water. Bamboo becomes edible because of this instability.

Boiling bamboo shoots for 20 minutes at 98°C removes nearly 70% of the HCN while all improvements on that (higher temperatures and longer intervals) remove progressively up to 96%. Thus even the highest quoted figures of cyanide found in bamboo shoots would be detoxified after cooking them for 2 hours.

Prepare fresh bamboo shoots for adding to your favorite dishes. Learn how to cook bamboo the traditional Japanese way.