Tallest Woody Grass

Bamboo

Image Credit: Flickr User Jeff Garris, via CC

Do you what is the name of this giant grass?

Bamboo! Yes bamboo is a woody grass!!

This woody grass is quite special. It is used as a food source, for construction, for decorating the house. It is very good for soil too. Bamboo has immense potential for checking soil erosion. Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing plants on Earth. Bamboo has been known to grow at a whopping 39 inches in one day. Growth is dependent on soil and climate. You just need the perfect one!

Bamboo has around 1450 species. The reason so many species have thrived is because this woody grass can survive in diverse climates. Not only it can grow fine in very cold climate, it grows equally well even in warm tropical climate.  Some species can even survive at temperatures as low as low as −29 °C. That is way below the freezing temperature!

Bamboo is healthy food source for both humans and animals. It’s the favourite food of pandas and make about 90% of their diet. They love to eat soft bamboo shoots, stems, and leaves. The same is true for the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar. Some rats love to nibble on bamboo fruits.

Not only animals, humans love the flavour of bamboo too. Recipes using bamboo shoots are particularly very popular across Asia. The fermented bamboo shoot is often used as an important ingredient in cuisines across the Himalayas. In Indonesia, bamboo shoots are sliced thin and then boiled with thick coconut milk and spices to make a popular dish called gulai rebung. Pickled bamboo shoots are also a very popular condiment.

Bamboo is a very strong wood and therefore used very often in the construction. Certain bamboo root clumps can live for hundreds of years, providing  an annual yield of materials. Also, at the same time Bamboo enriches soil with beneficial microorganisms. Is that absolutely environment friendly?
Bamboo is used in Chinese medicine for treating infections and healing. It has also been used in China since ancient times to make paper.

Could you imagine that the humble looking bamboo that adorns many people’s houses is so useful to mankind in so many different ways?

References: Bamboo – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bamboo

 

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