Nastus elatus is an evergreen, erect or scrambling bamboo forming a large clump of stems 15 - 20 metres tall from a short rhizome. The slender, woody, usually hollow culms can be up to 20 metres long; around 1 - 5cm in diameter; with internodes 30 - 45cm long[
The plant is harvested from the wild, and also cultivated, for local use as a source of food and materials. With some forms producing edible stems of very high quality, this is an important plant in the local economy - most families maintain at least one clump for food and also for making containers, musical instruments etc[
Australasia - New Guinea
Mixed lower montane rainforest, disturbed montane forest, or mossy forest; at elevations from 1,200 - 1,900 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Nastus elatus is is a plant of the moist tropics, where it is found in the lower montane zone at elevations from 1,200 - 1,900 metres.
Bamboos have an interesting method of growth. Each plant produces a number of new stems annually - these stems grow to their maximum height in their first year of growth, subsequent growth in the stem being limited to the production of new side branches and leaves. In the case of some mature tropical species the new stem could be as much as 30 metres tall, with daily increases in height of 30cm or more during their peak growth time. This makes them some of the fastest-growing species in the world[
Bamboos in general are usually monocarpic, living for many years before flowering, then flowering and seeding profusely for a period of 1 - 3 years before usually dying. This pattern can vary - sometimes flowering is sporadic, with plants flowering annually and not dying; at other times it is gregarious with all the plants in a specific species coming into flower at the same time.
New shoots can be produced all year round[
Young shoots - raw or cooked[
]. The pith in the centre of young shoots is eaten after cooking[
The culms are used for housebuilding and making musical instruments[
]. The stems are hollow, except at the internodes, and make good containers. Larger containers can be made by hollowing them out at one or more internodes.
The culms are used for construction, flattened to weave house walls and floors, cut up for water buckets (lengths up to 2 metres long with all but the lowest septum broken out), cooking pots (single internode plus septum) or split to make arrow-points, tongs, knives and other utensils.
Division of large clumps[
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