Family • Gramineae - Bambusa spinosa Roxb. - SPINY BAMBOO - Yu zhu

Scientific names

Arundarbor agrestis (Lour.) Kuntze
Arundarbor arundinacea (Retz.) Kuntze
Arundarbor bambos (L.) Kuntze
Arundarbor spinosa (Buch.-Ham.) Kuntze
Bambusa bambos (L.) Voss.
Bambusa spinosa Roxb. ex Buch.-Ham.
Bambusa spinosa Blume ex. Nees
Bambusa blumeana Schultes f.
Bambusa pungens Blanco
Bambusa arundo Blanco
Bambusa arundinacea F. Vill.
Bambusa teba Miq.
Le zhu  (Chin.)

Other vernacular names

CHINESE: Ci zhu, Ci ce zhu, Yu zhu.
FRENCH: Bambou épineux.
JAPANESE: Shi chiku.
KHMER: Rüssèi roliëk.
LAOTIAN: Phaix ba:nz.
PORTUGUESE: Bambu-espinoso
SPANISH: Cana espina
SUNDANESE: Haur cucuk.
THAI: Mai si suk, Phai si suk.
VIETNAMESE: Tre gai, Tre la nga.

Common names

Aonoo  (Bik.)
Batakan (Bis.)
Baugin (Pamp.)
Dugian (Bik.)
Caña espina (Span.)
Kaaono (Bis.)
Kauayan (P. Bis., Bon., C. Bis., Bik., Ilk, Tag.)
Kauayan-gid (P. Bis.)
Kauayan-ñg-bayog (Ilk.)
Kauayan-potog (Sbl.)
Kauayan-sitan (Ilk.)
Kauayan-tinik (Tag.)
Kauayan-totoo (Tag., Bik.)
Kabugauan (Bik.)
Lamnuan (Is.)
Marurugi (Bik.)
Pasiñgan ((Ibn.)
Paua (Bis.)
Rugian (Bik.)
Giant thorny bamboo (Engl.)
Spiny bamboo (Engl.)
Thorny bamboo (Engl.)

Kauayan-tinik is an arborescent bamboo, occasionally shrubby or scrambling. Rhizomes are short-necked. Stems are 10 to 25 meters high, 8 to 15 centimeters in diameter, the basal parts surrounded by stiff, branched, interlaced, spiny branches. Leaves are 10 are 20 centimeters long, 1 to 2 centimeters wide. Rarely flowering. Panicles are large. Spikelets are slender, compressed and 2 to 3 centimeters long.


– At low and medium altitudes in settled areas throughout the Philippines.
– Introduced at an early date.
– Occurs in southern China to the Malay Peninsula an from the Archipelago to the Moluccas.

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings

(1) Sorting Bambusa names / Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / A Work in Progress. School of Agriculture and Food Systems. Faculty of Land & Food Resources. The University of Melbourne. Australia / Copyright © 1997 – 2000 The University of Melbourne.

(2) Antiinflammatory and antiulcer activities of Bambusa arundinacea. / Muniappan M, Sundararaj T. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2003 Oct;88(2-3):161-7.

(3) Bambusa bambos (L.) Voss / Synonyms / The Plant List

(4)  Bambusa bambos / Always Ayurveda

(5) Therapeutic Potentials of Bambusa bambos Druce / Das Sanjita*, Rizvan Mohd., Basu S.P., Das Saumya / Indo Global Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2012; 2(1): 85-87

(6) PHARMACOGNOSTICAL EVALUATION OF BAMBUSA BAMBOS DRUCE LEAVES / Aakruti. A. Kaikini, Swati R. Dhande, Aruna P. Jadhav, Malvika S.Gursahani, and Vilasrao J. Kadam / IAJPR. 2013; 3(9): 7135-7139

(7) Phytopharmacological Properties of Bambusa arundinacea as a Potential Medicinal Tree: An Overview / Rathod Jaimik D, Pathak Nimish L, Patel Ritesh G, N.P. Jivani and Bhatt Nayna M / Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science 01 (10); 2011: 27-31

(8) Biomass and nutrient cycling in bamboo (Bambusa bambos) plantations of tropical areas / P. Shanmughavel, K. Francis / Biology and Fertility of Soils, November 1996, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 431-434


– Leaves are rich in hydrocyanic and benzoic acids.
– Bamboo shoots (labong) are only fair sources of calcium and iron; contains 1.76 % protein, and 4.24 % of carbohydrates.
– Root of Bambusa bambos yield cyanogenic glycosides identical with taxiphylline. Aqueous extracts of mature leaves yielded six phenolic acids, viz., chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, coumeric acid, protocatechuic acid, vanillic acid and coffeic acid.
– Pharmacognostical evaluation of various extracts of leaf yielded alkaloids, carbohydrates, steroids, tannins, glycosides, and flavonoids. Physiochemical evaluation of leaf yielded total ash 11.46%. acid-soluble ash 5.81%, water-soluble ash 2.66%, sulphated ash 9.25%, loss on drying 15.77%, petroleum ether extractive 1.85%, chloroform extractive 2.11%, ethyl acetate extractive 2.98%, ethanol extractive 26.77%, and water extractive 18.56%.
– Different plant parts yield silica, choline, betain, cynogenetic glycosides, albuminoids, oxalic acid, reducing sugar, resins, waxes, benzoic acid, arginine, cysteine, histidine, niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, protein, gluteline.

– Emollient, diuretic and diaphoretic, emmenagogue, astringent.
– Leaves are considered stimulant, aromatic, tonic, emmenagogue, anthelmintic and aphrodisiac.
– The bark is astringent and used in hemorrhoids, nausea and vomiting.

Bambusa bambos. Gramineae

Parts utilized
Stems, roots, leaves.

Edibility / Nutrition
The young shoots (labong) are fairly tender and eaten as vegetable, the seasonal ingredient in atcharapreparations.

• Decoction of leaves as emmenagogue, to induce lochia after childbirth.
• Decoction (20 gms for 1 liter of water; 3 cups daily) of stems of young shoots applied externally for inflamed joints.
• Decoction of leaves used to stimulate menstruation; also used for intestinal worms.
• Poultice of young shoots used for dislodgement of worms from ulcers.
• Bud of leaf used in leprosy, fevers, and hemoptysis.
• Decoction of roots used for anuria.
• Roots given as a specific for eruptive affections.
• Stems and leaves used for treatment of blood diseases, biliousness, leucoderma, inflammations, wounds and piles.
• Roots applied to ringworm and bleeding gums.
• Decoction of shoots taken for respiratory ailments.
• Juice of flower instilled to ear for earache.
• Poultice of tender shoots used for cleaning wounds. Decoction or juice of leaves applied to wounds.
• Decoction of tender shoots used as abortifacient in the first month and in the last month, to induce labor, and to facilitate placental expulsion.
• In India, decoction of leaves used for diarrhea. Decoction of shoots with honey used for respiratory problems. Leaf decoction used to stimulate menstruation. Leaves ingested directly to cure stomach or intestinal worms. Paste from shoots used externally for cleaning wounds or maggot-infested sores.
• In India, for ethnoveterinary use, decoction of a handful of leaves used for diarrhea in cattle, once a day for two to three days.


• Bambusa spinosa is the most commonly used species of bamboo in the Philippines.
• Used in the building of bamboo houses, furniture and household utensils.
• Leaf juice used in aromatherapy.

Study Findings
• Antiinflammatory / Antiulcer: Study evaluated the antiinflammatory effect of a methanol extract of leaves of Bambusa arundinaceae against carrageenin-induced and immunologically induced paw oedema and also antiulcer activity in albino rats. The combination of methanol extract and phenylbutazone (NSAID) produced good antiinflammatory effect and may be useful in the long-term treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis with peptic ulcer.
• Anti-Diabetic / Seeds: Study evaluated aqueous ethanolic solvent extracts of Bambusa arundinaceaefor anti-diabetic activity in alloxan induced diabetic rats. Results showed statistically significant anti-diabetic activity in comparison with standard glibenclamide.
• Antimicrobial/ Bamboo Shavings: Study of water-phase extract of bamboo shavings showed dose dependent antibacterial activity against a range of food borne and food spoilage pathogens, viz., S. aureus, B. subtilis, E. coli, Aspergillus niger, Penicillium citrinum, and Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
• Antifertility / Shoots: Study of an ethanolic extract of tender shoots showed reduction in fertility of male rats, associated with decrease in number and motility of spermatozoa.
• Biomass Nutrients: Study showed nutrient concentrations increased with age. The dry matter production of above-ground biomass increased progressively with age.

Cultivated or wildcrafted.