Culms 0.5-1 m tall, 0.2-0.4 cm thick; internodes 10-18 cm, glabrous, green, initially densely waxy below nodes, nodes not raised, branches single. Culm sheaths glabrous, overlapping margin shortly cilate; auricles very weakly developed; oral setae absent; blade small, reflexed, leafy. Leaf sheaths glabrous without wax, lower sheaths with a distally ciliate margin, upper sheaths without ciliate margin; auricles absent or rudimentary; oral setae absent; blade 10-20 cm long, 3.5-5.5 cm wide, thickly papery, glabrous, with 7-9 pairs of secondary veins and a yellowish midrib, developing broad whitened dead margins in winter. Named after an old Japanese name for S. Korea’s Jeju Island, off the southern coast of the Korean peninsular.
In the smaller species of Sasa the distinction between culm sheaths and leaf sheaths is weak, and the characteristics of both are quite variable and merge into each other quickly. Nakai seems to have noticed that the older (lower) sheaths have cilate margins, while higher (younger) sheaths are not ciliate, and used the term slowly ciliate, thinking ciliation would develop in time on all sheaths.
Similar to Sasa veitchii in its broad creamy-white winter necrosis of leaf margins, but smaller in stature with smaller, somewhat narrower leaves, and lacking the hairs and dense waxiness on culm sheaths, as well as the prominent auricles and oral setae.
Used for making herbal tea in South Korea. Consequently the phytochemistry of its leaves has been studied in detail for medicinal properties.
Introduced to Kew Gardens around 1982 from Mt Halla (Hallasan), but seems to have died at Kew after being moved in order to build the Minka House in the Bamboo Garden.