Facts about bamboo:
- There are 1,500 species of bamboo that can be found in Asia, Australia, North and South America and Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on the planet. Bamboo grows at 2 inches an hour. Some species grow one and a half meters a day.
- Bamboo strands release 35% more oxygen than equivalent stands of trees.
- Some bamboo even sequester up to 12 tons of carbon dioxide from the air per hectare.
- Bamboo can also lower light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays.
- Bamboo is a pioneering plant and can be grown in soil damaged by overgrazing and poor agricultural techniques.
- Bamboo’s tensile strength is 28,000 pounds per square inch versus 23,000 pounds per square inch for steel.
- One clump can produce 200 poles in the three to five years.
- Bamboo can be harvested in 3-5 years versus 10-20 years for most softwoods.
- The largest species of bamboo can reach 1,300 feet in height.
- Some species of bamboo develop flowers after 65 or 120 years. Interesting fact about flowering is that all plants of one bamboo species develop flowers at the same time, no matter where they are located in the world.
Throughout Asia, bamboo has always been regarded as sacred, symbolizing grace, strength, flexibility, endurance and longevity. The mystique and beauty of the bamboo forest is one of the most common themes for paintings and jade carvings. Ancient Chinese literature held bamboo in profound esteem: “When the storm comes, the bamboo bends with the wind. When the storm ceases, it resumes its upright position.” Bamboo is a symbol of the harmony between nature and human beings.
A wonderful resource for understanding bamboo and bamboo treatment is Bamboo Central, founded by Linda Garland and her son, Arief Rabik.