Culms are strongly upright, and sometimes sinuous, arching at the tips from the weight of the foliage. Culms have very prominent nodes (joints). Wood is described as being strong and useful. Shoots are of excellent quality for eating; considered one of the best species for edible shoot production. In China this species reportedly provides the earliest spring shoots available in the markets. This cultivar has now been through two winters in our outdoor test plantings, and has shown very good cold hardiness. In both winters, we experienced extreme lows of -8° F along with extended periods of bitterly cold, windy weather. In a location sheltered from the wind, Phyllostachys nidularia ‘Smoothsheath’ suffered only minor leaf injury.