Saccharum spontaneum edule (Hassk.) K.Schum.
Common Name: Lowland Pitpit
Lowland pitpit is a vigorous, perennial grass forming large clumps that usually reach 1.5 - 4 metres in height[
]. The inflorescences are abnormal in the sense that they remain enclosed within the leaf-sheaths, forming a compact mass about the size of a banana.[
The plant is cultivated in tropical Asia for the edible flowering stems. These are often sold in local markets and are sometimes canned as a commercial crop[
Originated in cultivation.
Not known as a wild plant, it is common in garden areas in the Pacific and is widely naturalized, often in extensive stands; common in poorly drained valley bottoms, alluvial plains, or low-lying sites[
A plant of the tropics, found from sea level to elevations around 2,000 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where the mean annual temperature is within the range 20 - 30Â°c, though it can tolerate 12 - 38Â°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 5,000mm[
Prefers a sunny position[
]. Succeeds in most soils, growing best in fertile conditions[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5 - 6, but can tolerate 4.5 - 6.5[
The first harvest can be taken 5 - 10 months after planting out[
The economic lifetime of each clump is about 2 - 3 years[
The yield is probably 3 - 5 tonnes per hectare[
The flowering stems can be eaten raw, or cooked in a variety of ways such as roasted, steamed, added to soups, made into curries etc[
]. When properly prepared, they can be used as a substitute for cauliflower[
]. The flowering stems are abnormal in the sense that they remain enclosed within the leaf-sheaths, forming a compact mass about the size of a banana[
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