Tuesday, October 9, 2007


Bamboo is a group of woody perennial evergreen plants in the true grass family Poaceae, subfamily Bambusoideae, tribe Bambuseae. Some of its members are giants, forming by far the largest members of the grass family. New shoots of some of the larger species can grow over 1 meter per day. They are of high cultural significance in East Asia where they are used extensively in gardens, as a building material as well as a food source. In Chinese as zhu (Chinese: 竹; pinyin: zhú), in Japanese they are known as take (Kanji: 竹; Hiragana: たけ, take?), and Tre /tʃe/ in Vietnamese.

There are 91 genera and about 1,000 species of bamboo. They are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot tropical regions. They occur across East Asia, from 50°N latitude in Sakhalin through to northern Australia, and west to India and the Himalaya. They also occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the Americas from the southeast of the United States south to Chile, there reaching their furthest south anywhere, at 47°S latitude. Major areas with no native bamboos include Europe, north Africa, western Asia, Canada, most of Australia, and Antarctica.

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