Plants shrub-like, spreading to form diffuse and/or dense clumps; rhizomes pachymorph with variable necks up to (0.3–)0.5(–2) m long. Culms pluricespitose, 1.5–5 m tall, 0.5–3 cm thick, basally erect; internodes 15–40 cm, terete, often scabrous, distally more densely so, usually not ridged, often waxy at first, usually grey-green, remaining matt; nodes scarcely to moderately raised. Branches 5–7(–15) per mid-culm node at first, above promontory, subequal, initially erect, becoming deflexed, lateral branch axes lacking subtending sheaths; buds at mid-culm lanceolate, with 2 often very tall, single-keeled bracts, open at front, 3–9 initials visible within. Leaf sheaths persistent; blades usually thickened, usually glossy above, venation tessellate, persistent in winter and not deciduous. Synflorescence ebracteate, semelauctant; branching paniculate, often deflexed, often with pulvini but with little or no fasciculation; branches subtended by minute sheath remnants or rings of hairs. Spikelets with 4–10 florets, glumes tight or loose, rarely subtending reduced non-viable buds. Stamens 3. Stigmas 3. Named after Yu Shan (Jade Mountain), the highest mountain in Taiwan (called Niitakayama by the Japanese), on which the type species, Y. niitakayamensis is found.
Yushania is a temperate to subtropical genus that currently contains around 80 species, occurring from the NW Himalayas to Taiwan and the Philippines. The genus differs from Borinda principally in having long-necked rhizomes that enable the plants to spread further, giving a semi-running, pluricespitose habit under suitable conditions. The species are mainly of little utility, and several species are even considered invasive weeds. They form good screening but can be rather invasive in warmer sites.
Speculation about the flowers and typification of Arundinaria nitida Nakai in the 1980s led to the inappropriate and temporary use of the older name Sinarundinaria for this genus, because A. nitida is the type species of Sinarundinaria, and it was thought that it would have flowers like those of Yushania. Flowering of A. nitida in the 1990s revealed that it has flowers that place it, and thus the generic name Sinarundinaria, firmly in Fargesia instead.