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Edible portion: Sap, Roots, Flowers

A tall thick stemmed clumpy grass. It has many nodes. It grows 1-6 m tall. It spreads 100 cm wide. A large number of different cultivated varieties occur. The leaves are long and narrow. They taper to the tip. They are rigid and droop at the tip. The cane varies in thickness, length of nodes, colour etc. The stalks have distinct nodes and the bottom of the leaf is wrapped in a sheath around the stalk. The flower is brownish. It is surrounded by dense silky white hairs.

It is a tropical plant. It occurs throughout the country of Papua New Guinea up to 2,750 m above sea level. It needs a temperature over 21°C for sprouting. It is frost sensitive. In Nepal it grows up to about 1400 m altitude. It suits hardiness zones 9-12. In Sichuan and Yunnan.