Is Bamboo a Tree or a Grass?

            Most people believe bamboo to be a kind of shrub or plant. In fact it is neither. It is a type of grass. It can reach a height of about 35 meters and up to a thickness of about 30 centimeters. There are many varieties of bamboo. About 600 species of bamboo have been studied.


            All kinds of bamboo have smooth hard and strong trunks. The rate of their growth is very fast and some can grow up to 40 centimeters in a day. There is a kind of bamboo that was found to grow 90 centimeters 24 hours. Some varieties of bamboo blossom once in 30 years other May take about 100 years to blossom. A bamboo dies after it blooms. The seeds from these blossoms grow into new plants.

            Bamboo is a very useful grass. It has a variety of uses. The stem of the bamboo is widely used in the construction of roofs, huts, walls, houses etc. it is also used to make mats baskets musical pipes paper fishing rods and weapons for self-defense. Young bamboo shoots are cooked as a vegetable and pickle is also made of them; some medicines are also made from a fluid obtained from the stem joints of bamboo branches. Its hollowed stems are used as water pipes especially in Japan.

            In south-west china pandas live in bamboo thickets and feed on its shoots. This amazing grass is found in abundance in south-east Asia, Indian subcontinent and the islands of the pacific ocean.