Thursday, October 18, 2007



Bamboo is just grass, but it varies in height from dwarf, one foot (30 cm) plants to giant timber bamboos that can grow to over 100 feet (30 m). It grows in many different climates, from jungles to high on mountainsides. Bamboos are further classified by the types of roots they have. Some, called runners, spread exuberantly, and others are classified as clumpers, which slowly expand from the original planting. There are also varieties of root systems that are a mixture of these types. Generally, the tropical bamboos tend to be clumpers and the temperate bamboos tend to be runners.

Bamboo is both decorative and useful. In many parts of the world it is food, fodder, the primary construction material and is used for making great variety of useful objects from kitchen tools, to paper to dinnerware. The Species Source List contains a listing of the bamboos that are commonly used for furniture, construction, musical instruments and many more things.

The species most-often identified with the giant panda is Gelidocalamus fangianus, but Fargesia spathacea, Sinarundinaria chungii, Sinarundinaria nitida, and Sinarundinaria fangiana are common bamboos in the panda's home range.

There is a lot of confusion in the naming of bamboos. There are both common names, which vary from place to place, even within one country; and there are the botanical names, which vary less from place to place, but are still not well-standardized. For a explanation of why this is, Gib Cooper has written a short discussion of the taxonomy problem.


Botanically, bamboo is classified thusly:

KINGDOM: Plantae

PHYLUM (DIVISION): Magnoliophyta

CLASS: Liliopsida

SUBCLASS: Commelinidae

ORDER: Cyperales

FAMILY: Gramineae (Poaceae)

SUBFAMILY: Bambusoideae

TRIBE: Bambuseae

SUBTRIBE: bambusinae

The Class, Subclass, and Order classifications are according to Cronquist (1988). The levels below Order can vary depending on whose classification you use. The ones shown above are widely accepted.


Max-e said...

Hi Sue
Interesting post and a good photo. Bamboo is an amazing plant. Have you ever seen bamboo flooring. It has a beautiful fine grained finish

Susanne in Key West said...

Hi Max,

No, I never have seen a bamboo flooring, must be really nice structur, I think.
Thank you for your comment, Max!

karoline said...

thankyou sue...bamboo symbolizes luck you's however not supposed to survive long in a teeny tiny bowl..but the one i bought a dear friend is on it's fourth year, its about six feet tall, there's five shoots all growing out of a bowl the size of a large teacup..

bamboo IS amazing..


GAWO said...

Hi. You have nice Bamboo... and I have threes. :-)

kml said...

Great post on the bamboo - I didn't realize there were so many kinds! The pic is great!

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Wow, I would hate to mow that grass every week!!
I love how you how you take something so simple such as Bamboo and turn it into an eye-catching photo. Very nice!

GMG said...

Loved to see your sunsets, as always; and the incredible pictures from the top of the lighthouse!
Bamboo is quite nice, and I've taken some photos recently in Morocco... One day I'll show it; for the time being I'm still around the Mosel River.

Susanne in Key West said...

Hi Karoline,

I didn't know that Bamboo is a bringer of luck, it sounds very interesting!
Thanks for commenting!

Susanne in Key West said...


Thank you so much for the link on your blog, it was a nice surprise! :-)

I like your tree photos very much! Thank you for commenting.

Susanne in Key West said...

Thank you Kathy! I'm glad you liked my post. :-)

Susanne in Key West said...

Thanks Michele

for this wonderful, nice compliment, I feel very flattered about your kind words.:-)

Susanne in Key West said...

Hi Gil,

I will go over to your site pretty soon. I want to read about your Mosel River report and see your great pictures and it feels always, like I'm traveling in Germany again.:-)
Looking forward to the Morocco pics!

Anna said...

Thanks Susanne for useful info, I like bamboo as matter fact I have some in my basement when I used to train in martial arts, lol. Not using on anyone anymore,lol. Anna :)

Susanne in Key West said...

Thanks Anna

for your interesting comment too. Martial Art....hmmm, sounds like a very tough women!! :-)

Bobbie said...

We have a lot of different kinds of bamboo here in Hawaii. It's very popular as a landscaping plant, and quite a few homes (especially newer "upscale" ones) have bamboo flooring as mentioned by max-e above. The wood used for flooring is very beautiful.

Susanne in Key West said...

Hi Bobbie,
thank you for stopping by and to drop this informative comment. I think, I can imagine the great look of a Bamboo floor. I think I would like it because it's natural.


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