Bamboo is a kind of grass that is native to most parts of the world. There are more than 2,000 kinds of bamboo that range in height from one foot to more than one hundred feet. Bamboo is extremely hardy and can grow in a jungle climate as well as on a frozen mountainside. It is lightweight, yet as strong as steel, which is why bamboo is quickly becoming one of the most important natural resources on the planet.
There are two main types of bamboo: running (spreading) and clumping (non-spreading). Running bamboo can spread several yards per year and works well in screens or groves. Running bamboo must be controlled, however, because it can become invasive very quickly. Clumping bamboo spreads only several inches per year and makes excellent hedges or groundcover.
To control running bamboo, place it near a stream or pond. You can also mow a broad strip of 15 to 20 feet around the bamboo or dig a ditch and fill it with mulch. A 30-inch-deep barrier will also prevent the spread of bamboo.
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world. It can grow more than a foot in one day and has been measured to grow as much as 47.6 inches in one 24-hour period. Bamboo also has an extensive root system, so it does not need to be replanted after harvesting. This gives bamboo tremendous potential as a renewable resource.
The strength and versatility of bamboo makes it an excellent resource. According to Wayne’s Word, an online textbook of natural history, more than 1,000 different products are made from bamboo.
Bamboo is one of the strongest building materials. It is used to build houses, bridges, water pipes and storage vessels. It is also used to make paper, dinnerware, tools, utensils, diapers, jewelry, musical instruments, clothing and much more. Bamboo has even been used in medicine for relieving coughs, nausea and insomia.
Bamboo has been a staple of the Asian diet for centuries. Today, bamboo is becoming a popular part of American cuisine as well, particularly in restaurants that specialize in healthy, vegetarian meals. Young bamboo shoots are crunchy and have a taste similar to corn. Bamboo is very healthy because it is low in fat and cholesterol and high in fiber.
Bamboo fibers are both strong and soft, making it an excellent material for clothing. The amount of fabric produced by an acre of bamboo is 10 times higher than an acre of cotton. Bamboo clothing is known to resist static as well as ultraviolet (UV) rays. It also won’t mildew if left in the bottom of a wet gym bag.
Here are some useful facts about how bamboo and trees compare: