Across the globe, there are hundreds of thousands of plants species, all of which are very important for both the planet and living things as they absorb carbon dioxide from the environment and release oxygen from their leaves.
As well as this, plants also provide food for humans, animals and insects and also form the natural habitat and home for many living species. Bamboo is just one of the fascinating plants to be found on this planet and this article contains the most interesting facts about bamboo plants that we could find.
Characteristics Of Bamboo
You might already have a picture in your head of what bamboo looks like or you may have never seen it before. Either way, these interesting facts are all about bamboo features which give some great details about the parts that make up this plant.
1. There are over 1500 types of bamboo trees, consisting of woody and herbaceous varieties. About 100 of these species are used commercially.
2. Bamboo can be found in a variety of colours which include yellow, green, black, brown and blue and some bamboo can even be stripy.
3. Bamboo is not a type of tree. It belongs to the evergreen grass family and giant bamboos are the largest varieties of grass.
4. Similarly to grass, bamboo has a stem, which is called a culm, and in most species, it is jointed and hollow.
5. Whilst it is uncertain where the more familiar name 'bamboo' originates from, the scientific name of bamboo is bambusoideae.
6. Bamboo is very durable as the outer stem is dense and strong and the plant overall is flexible and elastic which makes it able to resist breaking when put under pressure. This is why bamboo is often used as a material to make other products.
7. Bamboo is incredibly strong, having a greater tensile strength than steel and withstanding compression better than concrete. Many studies have been conducted on the tensile strength of bamboo including across different bamboo species and methods of harvesting and manufacture.
8. When compared to the same mass of trees, bamboo absorbs carbon dioxide and releases over 30% more oxygen back into the atmosphere.
9. Bamboo is used in many places worldwide to prevent soil erosion and help stabilize sloping landscapes. The network of roots that bamboo creates helps with soil erosion while planting bamboo along the banks of streams can stop the sides from collapsing.
10. Bamboo is not resistant to rot or insect infestation so when used as a building material, it is usually in the knowledge that it will have a limited lifespan and will need to be periodically replaced.
Bamboo Growth Facts
Bamboo is well-known for being the fastest growing plant on Earth but just how fast are we talking? If you want to know more about super speedy bamboo shoots then this section has some great facts about how and where bamboo grows.
11. Bamboo is the fastest growing plant and can grow up to 1.5 inches an hour or as much as 3 ft in a 24 hour period!
12. Once harvested, bamboo will continue to grow new shoots from the part of the plant that is left in the ground.
13. Bamboo requires no chemicals, fertilizers or other additions to be able to grow.
14. Bamboo is an incredibly versatile plant and can grow in all sorts of climates. That being said, it is most common in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia and Latin America. It is found as far north as the southern United States and central China and as far south as Patagonia. It can also grow naturally in northern Australia.
15. Bamboo is the only plant that can keep up with deforestation and the rate of human consumption due to how quickly it regrows.
16. Some species of bamboo can grow up to 30 meters in height and have a diameter of up to 30cm. There are other bamboo species, however, that only grow up to a few centimeters high.
17. A Chinese bamboo tree can take up to 5 years to grow and must be watered every day. Once new shoots appear, however, Chinese bamboo grows up to 90ft in just five weeks!
18. Bamboo adaptations have been seen in some varieties of the plant. Bengal bamboo, for instance, adapted to the very wet conditions of the rainforest by growing vascular bundles which absorb the water and draw it up the cane.
19. The bamboo life cycle typically starts in the Spring which is when it will start to grow new canes over a period of about 60 days. During this time, shoots emerge from the ground and the plant will grow limbs and leaves. After these 60 days, the bamboo will not grow any taller or larger in diameter ever again but will sprout new foliage each year. If left untouched, bamboo will live for about ten years.
20. Moso bamboo is one of the fastest-growing bamboo varieties and can grow to as much as ten feet tall in three weeks. Whilst growing, its canes become thicker and can measure over five inches at the base of the plant.
Interesting Facts About Bamboo
If you found our facts about what bamboo looks like and how it grows fascinating, then these facts that you might not know about how bamboo is used around the world are sure to surprise you!
21. A South American bamboo called Guadua is viewed as one of the most important species of bamboo in the Americas as it is used in the construction of houses along rivers in Colombia and Ecuador.
22. The diet of a panda consists nearly entirely of bamboo shoots, leaves and stems. The bamboo isn't very nutritious though, so each panda needs to eat between 12kg and 38kg a day to get the amount of energy that they need!
23. Bamboo charcoal is created by burning bamboo at temperatures of 800 and 1200 °C and is used as a fuel for cooking in several countries including China, Japan and the Philippines. It can also be used to purify water as its porous surface draws out substances in the water and holds onto them.
24. Bamboo is one of the world's natural materials that is often used in the construction of buildings. According to UNESCO, 70 hectares of bamboo can provide enough resources to construct up to 1000 houses.
25. Bamboo contains an anti-bacterial substance called bamboo kun which the plant uses to protect itself from microbes and fungi. This property is beneficial to humans as well, and due to this, bamboo is used to create fabric for use in bedsheets, clothing and even diapers.
26. There is a huge variety of bamboo tableware now available including plates, bowls, cups and cutlery. It has gained popularity in recent years because it is durable, cleans easily, is free from chemicals and is completely biodegradable.
27. Bamboo helped Thomas Edison invent the lightbulb as, during the process of creating the bulb, Edison and his team realized that a carbonized bamboo filament in a light bulb could last up to 1,200 hours.
28. Bamboo charcoal is a natural deodorizer and can draw unpleasant smells from the environment, making it a great alternative to candles or chemical cleaners.
29. Bamboo leaves can be made into a delicious beverage which is said to taste quite like green tea and have similar nutritional benefits.
30. During World War II, the British Government covered the Taj Mahal with scaffolding made from bamboo in order to protect it against aerial attacks. This method was used again in the 1960s and 1970s to protect the world-famous building when India was going through a period of conflict with Pakistan.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 30 Bamboo Facts That Will Absolutely Bamboozle You then why not take a look at these facts about flowers, or dandelion facts?
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