Thyrsostachys siamensis Gamble (Gramineae)
Vernacular name: nomai phai ruak
Common name: monastery bamboo (English), umbrella-handled bamboo (English), shamu dake (Japanease)
Densely tufted, sympodial bamboo. Culm erect or with arching tips, 8-14 m tall, 2-7.5 cm in diameter, smooth, grayish-green; internodes 15-30 cm long; nodes not swollen. Culm sheath 20-25 cm long, 10-20 cm wide near the base, narrowing towards the apex, persistent, pale to purplish-green, covered with scattered, pale appressed hairs; blade narrowly lanceolate, 7-15 by 5-10 mm, erect, short hairy adaxially; ligule very short. Young shoots pale to purplish-green. Leaf blade narrow, linear, 7-14 cm by 5-8 mm, pale green, usually glabrous; sheath striate, white hairy along the margins; ligule very short, entire, ciliate. Infloresences borne terminally on leafy or leafless branches, many thin branchlets bearing bracteate clusters of few pseudospikelets; spikelet about 15 mm long, comprising 1 empty glume, usually 2 perfect florets and a rachilla extension bearing a rudimentary floret. Caryopsis cylindrical, about 5 by 2.5 mm, surmounted by a yellowish, glabrous, soft, long beak.
The distribution of Monastery bamboo is widespread in dry or semi-evergreen forest on poor soils, grows in mixed deciduous and teak forest in the north and north-east and pure stands often occur in hill forest in the central part, at 300-400 m altitudes, with annual rainfall of 800-1,000 mm. Occasionally grown as wind break.
In 100 g edible portion of bamboo shoot consists of water 89.5 g, protein 3.8 g, fat 0.3 g, carbohydrate 4.5 g, fibre 0.7 g, ash 1.0 g, Ca 12.8 mg, Fe 40.2 mg, P 0.2 mg, vitamin B1 0.01 mg, vitamin B2 0.09 mg and traces of vitamins A and C. The energy value is about 140 kJ/100 g.
Young shoots are boiled and served with nam prik or added to various kinds of dish but most bamboo shoots contain high amount of uric acid, those with joint pain should avoid any dish with bamboo shoot. Young shoots are available during rainy season.
It is multiplied by rhizome division of 1-year-old culms with rhizome part, roots and up to 1 m long culm, places in a moist media under 50 % shade for 2-3 months or until new roots and shoots arise and mature enough then transplanted to the field during the start of rainy season.