Unit-1: What is bamboo? an Overview

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Certificate Courses on Bamboo

1. General Introduction

On reading the title of this page the first question you would probably ask is "What are Bamboos?"

Well, they are a kind of grass which are very tall and have a stiff jointed stem. These stems are of various diameters and are hollow. Also the leaves are not long and thin as in grass but are oval shaped with a pointed tip. They have a stalk - what is technically called a "petiole".

Picture: of a Bamboo plant, also enlargement of a leaf, and part of stem showing hollow

Again technically speaking bamboos are 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.

2. Parts of the plant

3. Growth Forms

4. Distribution in India and the world

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 from Northeast Asia (at 50°N latitude in Sakhalin), south throughout East Asia west to the Himalaya, and south to northern Australia. They also occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the Americas from the southeast of the USA 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, northern North America, most of Australia, and Antarctica.