Boehmeria nivea, a Chinese grass native to East Asia, is a large shrub commonly grown for its fiber uses and for its rarity as an ornamental. It can grow up to 5-10 ft tall, and prefers a full sun to semi-shade location and regular to moderate watering. The plant is a popular ethnomedical plant, with the root peeled and boiled and the leaves used to make cakes. It is thought to have cooling, demulcent, diuretic, resolvent and uterosedative properties due to the flavonoid rutin it contains.
Boehmeria nivea is grown in USDA Zones 7-11, and mature plants are cold hardy at least down to temperatures in the 30s F (degrees Fahrenheit) with short-term exposure. When grown in a pot, it should be given protection from colder temperatures, such as a move to an indoor location during the winter months. For best growth, the plant should be given plenty of sun and kept evenly moist. Fertilize monthly with a balanced fertilizer, and water regularly to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Pinching back the stem tips can encourage more bushy growth for the ornamental gardener.