Bamboo plants are among the world’s most useful and versatile plant. Unlike trees, bamboo grows at an astonishing rate of up to 2 inches per hour. This makes it the world’s quickest growing plant. In some cases, the bamboo plant can grow up to 4 meters in a day.
Unlike many would believe, bamboo plants are not trees. In fact, they are evergreen grasses. These grasses fall into 91 different genera, with over 1,000 species currently known. As different species can be used for different things, this variety helps to ensure the lasting survival of this plant.
This fast growing rate makes bamboo plants invaluable in eastern regions such as India, China and Japan. As the bamboo plants can be used as food, wood and fuel, the fast growing rate makes this renewable resource a cornerstone of those societies. As bamboo, when properly treated, can be extremely durable and long lasting, it provides an easy solution to many problems.
One of the well known uses of bamboo plants is their cultivation as building materials. In construction, bamboo can create massive, secure scaffoldings, provide a base wood over slower growing trees, and provide decorative value to both the interior and exterior of a house. Other uses of bamboo material include tools such as durable cutting boards, chop sticks, tables and other pieces of furniture as well as components in well known games such as go.
When bamboo plants are young, the shoots can be eaten from many different varieties. However, not all types of bamboo shoots should be consumed. The giant bamboo, as an example, contains cyanide within the shoots. Cyanide can be lethal to humans.
Many types of animals survive by eating bamboo. Most notably is the panda, which only eats bamboo stalks and leaves.
. The bamboo plant, for reasons yet proven by science, tends to have mass flowering and fruiting seasons. This is most notable in the Bay of Bengal, where the bamboo plants bloom once every 30 to 35 years. This mass blooming and fruiting cases devastating consequences to human populations surrounding the bloom. As the fruit falls to the ground, rats swarm. As the rats gather in mass, they [carry disease with them and cause famine]. This can lead to many human deaths, as there is not much that can be done to stop the fruiting once it has begun. As the bamboo populations require the fruiting season for survival, they cannot be simply destroyed to prevent the rat swarms.
Bamboo is a versatile plant and can thrive in many regions across the globe. They are most commonly found in East Asia, although they can grow in sub-Saharan Africa, North and South America. Bamboo does not grow in Europe, North Africa, western Asia, Canada and Antarctica.