The Bamboo plant symbolizes noble character and integrity. It stays green in winter, resisting wind and snow which represents uprightness and in-corruptibility. “ Bamboo Rise Puts Tradition at Risk. (All things Considered: July 26, 2006) From Literature Resource Center. Michael Norris.
Bamboo is a giant grass that takes on the function of trees in a forest eco-system and with the ability to make wood. Bamboo grows larger than their herbaceous, non-woody family relatives. John Ardle: “Bamboo and Grasses.”
Bamboo plant is grown in diverse climates ranging from cold mountains to hot tropical regions of the world, with the exception of Continental Europe.
There are more than 70 Genera (group of plants closely connected by common characteristics) divided into about 1,450 species.
Bamboo plants range in size from true dwarfs of approximately 1 -2 inches high to towering plants up to 80 feet in height. Some species grow 1.5 - 2 inches per hour. Miller McLune 2010: “Building with Bamboo.”
Bamboo has a short rotation period. While trees are harvested for lumber every 20 - 50 years, Bamboo reaches maturity and can be harvested 2-3 years to 5 - 7 years. Its roots or rhizomes can grow continuously to more than 100 years. When regular trees are harvested, generally the roots system dies thereby releasing the stored carbon in the atmosphere. When Bamboo is harvested, the roots continue to thrive and replenish themselves and can again be harvested in a few short years. This accounts for the sustainability of Bamboo and their products.
In China, Bamboo has been adopted to multiple purposes by various mountain communities. The uses to which Bamboo has been adopted include construction materials, fibers, food, material for agricultural tools, utensils, music instruments as well as ornamental plants.