Bamboo Informations.

What is bamboo. It's different genera and species. Also, learn the story behind the magical use of bamboo.

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What is Bamboo?

 

"Malakas at Maganda"

"The strong and the Beauty" - Philippine folklore says that the first man and woman came out of a split giant bamboo tree with the help of a giant bird.

 




 

Bamboo Plant Gallery

Bamboo plants come in different genera and species that's why you will see bamboos in different sizes, colors and even shapes here are some of them."

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Recommended book on Bamboos:


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Invaluable source of bamboo informations, an excellent reference on bamboos.

 
 

Bamboo belongs to the family of grasses. Most Bamboos are treelike and shrubby grasses with woody stems.

You can find Bamboos in tropical and subtropical to mild temperate regions, the largest concentrations of Bamboos and Bamboo species are in Southeast Asia and on islands of Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Presently there are 115 Bamboo genera and 1020 to 1070 species all over the world. The body of Bamboo is called “culms” they are mostly hollow but some are not. The rhizomes serves as the roots of Bamboos. There are Bamboo rhizomes that have clump formations and there are running rhizomes.

Morphology and Structure

Bamboos are most abundant in Southeast Asia, there are also some species in the Americas and Africa and none in Australia. Bamboo range from stiff reeds about 1m (3 ft) tall to giants reaching 50 m ( 164 ft) in height and 30 cm (12 in) in diameter near the base. Most bamboos are erect, but some are viny and have thorns that makes it impenetrable thickest in some areas. These thorny bamboos are among the most useful ones in Asia because of its thick culms which is ideal for building houses and farming tools.

You can easilly recognize bamboo by their woody jointed culms or stems. The culms consist of hollow sections called internodes, which are interrupted by regularly spaced solid partitions called nodes. At each node a sheath protects a bud, which may develop into either a branch or an inflorescence or flower. Some species of bamboo flower annually other flower only at interval of several years, some people may not even see bamboo flowers because the bamboo species in their locality flowers only after so many years.

Rhizomes

Bamboo's roots are called rhizomes these are stems that develop horizontally underground. Rhizomes are thickened plant stems that branch away from the bamboo plant, thus enabling new territory to be colonized.There are two kinds of rhizomes the "clump forming rhizomes" and the "running rhizomes."

In simple terms clump forming rhizomes (Pachymorph rhizomes) starts in one spot then grows outward in circle like formations of Bamboos. The running rhizomes (Leptomorph rhizomes) starts in one spot then extends horizontally, along that horizontal rhizomes Bamboo shoots will come out and form lines of Bamboos.

bamboo shootsEach year culms arise from the rhizomes to form the areal parts of the bamboo. Rhizomes are often so tightly packed that the soil under a bamboo plant seems to be filled with them. These could be the reason why during natural calamities specially earthquakes, elders in Asia recommends seeking refuge where there are lots of bamboo plants. According to them the soil where there are alot of bamboos holds through calamity and does not easilly break away. This is also the reason why farmers use to plant them beside creeks and the edges of water routes to prevent soil erosions.

The Shoots and Branches

In Asia it normally shows up at the start of the rainy season usually June and in America during spring (April or May). Bamboo shoots grows and appear above the soil.The tips of new shoots are protected by overlapping scales, which are shed as the internodes elongate. Initially new shoots grow slowly, but the growth rate increases rapidly and may reach 60 cm (24 in) per day in some gigantic tropical species. Bamboos do not grow in width like trees which gets broader every year. The shoots which are usually edible (a staple food in Asia) determines the diameter of the culms which will develop from them.The shoots may be as thin as grass or as thick as 25 cm (10 in.) in diameter depending on the species and age of the bamboo. The main shoot does not bear leaves and usually does not produce branches until it is fully elongated. Branches grow from the buds present at each node, and branches may themselves produce secondary or even tertiary branches. It is on these ultimate branches that bamboos produce their usually linear, flat and many-veined leaves. When bamboo reaches its lengths in its growth year that will be its height, it will not grow any taller.

Bamboo's Usefullness and Appeal

Bamboo is a part of life in Asia and also many regions of the world. Among the plants, bamboo is the most useful one. Bamboos are used for constructions of houses, fences, bridges, floorings and also as a food. Name it and in some point in time it might have been recreated using bamboo material. Even Thomas Edison used bamboo fiber as a filament for the first incandescent light.

Nowadays, may it be real of faux, may it be bamboo material or bamboo in shape. It is turning up in utensils, faucets, furnitures, decorative accents, curtains, bed sheets, plates, and wall decors. Even big department stores and supplier of chain stores dedicates sections exclusively occupied by bamboo motif or designs and real or natural bamboo items. The question is why? Why recently you can see bamboo all over? Bamboo designs, bamboo items even on the internet if you type bamboo on the search engine you will be flooded with bamboo links. According to many people it may be largely due to the affinity to the Asian aesthetic. Bamboo's simplicity which has been known all throughout the world maybe a part of it too. It may also be the desire to have what bamboo symbolized in Eastern cultures for centuries where bamboo is known for its resiliency,strength, longevity, flexibility and good luck.

Bamboo is very durable and attractive it is also eco friendly and an excellent alternative to wood. As a design element to the room according to some people it gives warmth. Bamboo gives this Asian touch or influence in home design. It is also light at its natural color which gives simplicity in design. These days more and more people are looking for all things natural, it maybe because our lives is full of gadgetry and fast pace tempo, and we want to escape atleast for a while. Bamboo gives the feeling of being some place else within our home, it evokes exotic places where it is calm and beautiful.

What is bamboo

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