We know you love Bamboo, everyone’s favorite super renewable resource. You’ve probably heard a lot about Bamboo as being eco-friendly and sustainable, qualities this amazing plant certainly possesses.
Still, there’s a lot more to Bamboo than its environmental benefits. We think you’ll enjoy discovering new facts about Bamboo in the list below.
- Bamboo is a grass, not a wood
Say whaaaat? Yes, you read that right. Bamboo is technically a grass although you’ve likely seen it mistakenly described as a wood due to its tree-like appearance. Its hollow, cylindrical stems are characteristic of grass as opposed to the thick stems or trunks seen on trees. So if you’ve ever wondered whether Bamboo is a grass or a tree, now you know the correct answer.
- There are more than 1,000 species of Bamboo in the world
Scientists have identified about 1,450 Bamboo species across five continents. While many people associate Bamboo with the Asian continent i.e. India, China, Thailand, etc., it’s also indigenous to Australia, Chile, Madagascar, Mexico, and the Southern Eastern US. How’s that for diversity?
- Bamboo comes in a variety of colors
Those beautiful, colorful Bamboo pics on Pinterest aren’t always Photoshopped because the plant isn’t just green. You’ll find natural Bamboo plants in several colors, including blue, black, red, and yellow.
- Bamboo is edible
By edible, we don’t mean it’s just Panda food. Simply search for Bamboo shoot recipes online and you’ll get a good taste of its various cooking applications. Bamboo shoots are common ingredients in stir-frys, soups, spring rolls, dumplings, and lots of other savory dishes. Bamboo is said to aid digestion, which is why it’s included in many appetizers.
- Bamboo is a staple of Eastern medicine
Bamboo’s medical benefits date back centuries to Ancient China and Japan. Bamboo resin, leaves, and shavings are said to have medical uses for respiratory and digestive illnesses, fevers, and inflammation. In general, being around Bamboo reduces anxiety/stress and may decrease depression.
- You can use Bamboo for textiles, coal, and more
You know we make lots of eco-friendly products with FSC® (Forest Stewardship Council®) certified Bamboo, yet Bamboo can be used for thousands of other items. From skateboard decks to coal, you’ll find new Bamboo based items popping up everywhere. The Western business world is in the midst of a Bamboo revolution as manufacturers incorporate this raw material into their supply chains.
- Bamboo architecture is growing in popularity
If you follow us on LinkedIn, you might remember we’ve recently shared articles highlighting contemporary Bamboo architectural projects in China and Thailand. While Bamboo huts are nothing new, the idea of making larger structures with woven Bamboo is gaining prominence due to its cost effectiveness, strength, and sustainable nature. Watch this inspiring Ted Talk about an amazing project in Bali!
- Bamboo grows indoors and outdoors
Bamboo typically prefers outdoor environments, yet select species are able to handle indoor conditions. That means you’re able to brighten your home or office with Bamboo plants as long as you’re willing to give them extra care and attention. They won’t do well on their own like Cacti, so it’s important to perform careful research before you buy up a ton of Bamboo plants for decoration.
- You can grow Bamboo in your home garden
Depending on where you live, Bamboo may be an easy addition to your backyard garden or a bit tougher to tackle. Either way, you should explore planting Bamboo in your yard for several reasons. First off, Bamboo enhances your privacy as it’s thick enough to block out your neighbors. Second, you’ll be helping the environment as Bamboo absorbs more CO2 than trees. Lastly, you’ll feel refreshed by being around this soothing plant. As with the indoor varieties, it’s best to do your research and select the right types for your climate and avoid potential overgrowth.
- Bamboo is mostly an evergreen grass
You may be asking yourself, What exactly does evergreen mean in this context? When it comes to plants, evergreen refers to plants that are always green and maintain their leaves throughout the fall and winter. Certain species of Bamboo are classified as deciduous and semi deciduous, meaning they completely shed their leaves or shed their leaves for a short period of time, respectively. If you plan to plant Bamboo in your garden, it’s important to consider this aspect of the species you choose to grow as obviously evergreens will work better in colder climates.
- Lucky Bamboo is said to provide good Feng Shui
In case you’re not familiar with the practice, Feng Shui is a Chinese concept of rules regarding spatial arrangements in relation to energy flow in architecture as well as interior design. Bamboo comes into play because it often embodies all 5 elements in Feng Shui. So long as you properly place your plant in a room, it’s said to attract positive energy to your home.
- Certain Bamboo species can grow up to 3 feet per day!
Have you ever heard Bamboo called ‘the fastest growing plant in the world?’ If so, then you’re aware of Bamboo’s reputation for rapid growth. The growth speed serves as an advantage in terms of sustainability; Bamboo replenishes far faster than hardwood trees. Naturally growth rates vary by species; the average growth rate during a spurt stands at about 2 ft. per day. In fact, the Moso species is known to grow up to 10 feet tall in only three weeks. Giant Bamboo holds the world record for tallest Bamboo plant. Now imagine how quickly it got that big!
- Bamboo plants prevent erosion on hillsides
Bamboo plants love to cluster up and form dense canopies. These clusters combined with the plant’s extensive root systems form an effective barrier to control erosion. You might want to think about planting some if you live on a hillside home or other area prone to mudslides or landslides.
- Bamboo burns faster than hardwoods
Bamboo can be used to start a fire for cooking or warmth. Due to its less dense construction, Bamboo burns quickly without releasing a lot of heat. For this reason, it’s not the most efficient form of kindling. Remember when we said Bamboo makes great charcoal? That’s where Bamboo shines as fuel for a roaring fire. Learn more about Bamboo charcoal as a bioenergy source in sub-Saharan Africa here.
- Bamboo releases more oxygen than hardwoods
Hardwood trees take in light and carbon dioxide and convert that energy into chemical energy to produce sugars and release oxygen through photosynthesis. This process fuels a plant’s growth, which helps explains why Bamboo gives off more oxygen than trees. For this reason, numerous climate scientists recommend Bamboo forests to offset carbon emissions that may harm the environment.
- Every part of the Bamboo plant can be used
Another nod to its eco-friendly credentials, Bamboo plants are useful from leaves to stems and shoots. Even the roots can be ground up for use in healing tonics as well as medicines and teas. Bamboo coal typically utilizes parts of the plant that may otherwise get discarded, another reason to invest in this technology.
- Bamboo requires no chemicals to thrive
Organic produce is popular because pesticides may be harmful for human consumption. Pesticides aren’t just used on plants we eat, though. You’ve probably heard about chemicals for use in your backyard garden. You won’t need any pesticides for Bamboo, which should make you feel better about growing, eating, or buying Bamboo products.
- Bamboo survives natural and man made disasters
Well, maybe survives is the wrong word. Bamboo grew back faster than any other plants near ground zero in 1945 Japan. It’s also known to reappear following extreme weather including hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons. How’s that for resilience?
- Bamboo repairs damaged soil
Along with protecting against erosion, Bamboo helps replenish damaged soil by soaking up relatively low amounts of water. Its roots bind soil and its fallen leaves add nutrients as they decay.
- Bamboo is helping to save endangered Pandas
You’ve likely heard Bamboo referred to as Panda food. There’s a lot of truth to that statement as Bamboo is the basis of the Panda diet. As such, Bamboo reforestation efforts in the Giant Panda’s natural habitat (China) are key to ensuring this unique species’ survival.
- Bamboo uses less water to grow
Most Bamboo species will not thrive in wet soil; the plant usually prefers moist soil. Trees require gallons of water every day depending on the species and size. There’s simply no comparison as far as water consumption goes.
- Bamboo related industries employ over 2.2 billion people
All over the world people have Bamboo to thank for their jobs. Your first thought might be the farmers or farm workers who harvest Bamboo plants from plantations. Don’t forget the factory workers, construction companies, architects, and manufacturers like us who bring Bamboo products to you.
- Bamboo carries deep cultural and religious meanings
Have you ever heard of Lucky Bamboo? The association between Bamboo and good fortune in Chinese culture dates back centuries. Bamboo is considered a symbol of Chinese values, including virtue, positivity, and grace. Bamboo also serves as a muse for artists from sculptors to painters and poets.
- Bamboo was used in Alexander Graham Bell’s first phonograph
Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone back in 1876. Later in 1877, Bell invented the phonograph, a mechanical recording device also referred to as a gramophone. He made the first phonograph needle out of Bamboo and incorporated the material into subsequent projects as well. Bell described Bamboo in his journal as follows:
- Bamboo is one of the strongest materials on earth
You may have heard Bamboo described as being ‘strong than steel.’ That’s not an overstatement. Bamboo’s strength stems in part from its unique ability to bend without breaking; it provides flexibility without sacrificing lightness or endurance.
Altogether I consider that Bamboo has very remarkable properties, and is admirably adapted to make a light, tough, strong, elastic framework for a kite. I do not know anything better, but we require to learn how to work it.
Bamboo educational resources
Want to learn more about the world’s greatest grass? Visit these online resources to expand your Bamboo knowledge to expert level.