Saturday, October 31, 2015

Bamboo -- a plant with many uses

Bamboo is an astonishing plant, but not one we normally associate with this climate zone -- at least not enormous stalks like these, which are quietly pushing themselves skyward in East Vancouver.

Some bamboos grow a metre a day, and this rate accelerates as the plant matures. Bamboo grows quickly into dense forests, and covers much of South America, Hawaii and Southeast Asia. The world's greatest diversity of bamboos are found in the Chinese province of Yunnan.

With types from a foot tall to fifty feet, this strong, flexible, hard and useful grass can be eaten, used as a building and fencing material, or turned into thermally regulating cloth. It's speedy growth and usefulness make it a sustainable crop. It cleans the air we breathe, and doesn't attract pests.

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