Did you know that bamboo is the one of the fastest growing grasses in the world? Explore this piece to learn more about this type of grass.

Types Of Bamboo

Bamboos are perennially evergreen, which means that they have the ability to retain their foliage all through the year. The ‘giant bamboo’ is the largest species of the grass family from the family ‘Poaceae’ and is known to grow more than 60cm in a single day! The growth rate, however, is dependent on the environment, soil, climate and temperatures. The reason why people like to know about the types of bamboo is to see if they can grow it in their houses or offices. Another reason can be because it is economically advantageous and carries with it certain health benefits too. The reason why bamboo can survive in any area is mainly because it can adapt easily to its environment. The fact is that there are more than 1200 species of bamboo worldwide. Classifying them all here will probably put you to sleep, so let’s keep it short and sweet. The 1200 species of bamboo are divided mainly into two categories – running and clumping bamboos. Running bamboos spread fast and can cover an area quickly. Clumping bamboos on the other hand does spread fast, they, however, form clumps instead and grows bigger every year. Here are some more things you’d want to know about the different types of bamboo. Read the following sections to get to know more.

Different Kinds Of Bamboo Plants
The two major kinds of bamboo plants are:

Running Bamboo
As the name suggests, it is the type of bamboo that can spread easily into a large open space. This variety can spread to about 100km away from the parent plant, making it a fast growing invasive plant. The botanical name for this type of bamboo is ‘monopodial bamboo’ (Bambusa bambos) and is known to grow in colder climates. This kind of bamboo sends rhizomes beneath the soil, and these rhizomes sprout shoots continue growing longer and help in spreading the bamboo. Another feature of this type of bamboo is that it can be identified by its maturity period. Harvesting this kind of bamboo also can be done easily. About 33% of all the various species of bamboo can be classified under this type. Some examples of which are:

  • Kuma
  • Golden Grove
  • Pygmy
  • Yellow Grove
  • Pitt White
  • Dwarf White Stripe
  • Dwarf Fern Leaf
  • Golden Square

Clumping Bamboo
This kind of bamboo grows faster compared to running bamboo. It forms clumps and grows in large clusters. Clumping bamboo does not spread their rhizome too far. It enters and soil and stays close to the parent plant. Botanically it is also referred to as ‘sympodial’ (Bambusa vulgaris). The outer layer of the rhizome contains the younger progeny, and the inner layer consists of the mature plant. They produce higher quantities of bamboo and re-grow quickly once harvested. This type of bamboo contains the names of the remaining 67% of the bamboo species. Some examples of these names are:

  • Candy Cane
  • Fountain
  • Timor Black
  • Umbrella
  • Chinese Mountain
  • White Dragon
  • Borinda
  • Silverstripe

Bamboo can also be classified in forms of genera such as P. aurea (yellow stems) or P. nigra (yellow stems with black dots) or P. humilis (pale gray green foliage) etc.

Facts About Bamboo
  • The bamboo you keep at home or the lucky bamboo is not real bamboo. It belongs to the lily family.
  • Since bamboo is from the grass family, it needs plenty of sunlight, though some of them can grow in partial sun.
  • An interesting fact about the bamboo’s life cycle is that it flowers and then dies. No fruits are produced.
  • Bamboo is a wonder plant - the shoots can be eaten.  
  • It even has medicinal properties that help it in healing infections.
  • It is used as construction material in East Asian structures.
  • Bamboo fibers can be used to make textiles.
  • It can also be used to make some of the most beautiful musical instruments such as the flute.
  • Bamboo can also serve as a lifesaver in a survival situation. The trunk of the plant can hold water which is clean and can be had straight from the plant. The trunk itself is strong and light, thus making it ideal for making things like spears, rafts or even shelters.

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