Being a perennial evergreen plant, Bamboo is one of the fastest-growing species in the world. It belongs to the family of grass or Poaceae. Poaceae consists of nearly 10,000 different species. Bamboo possesses a joint stem-like structure known as culm. Some culms have a hollow structure. However, there are some culms that consist of some solid culms. These culms are attached to the segment known as a node. You can identify these nodes if they tend to swell and encircle themselves around the segments of the culms. From the nodes grow leaves and branches. Just like culms, the branches are also connected with many nodes and internodes linked together.
Growth of the Bamboo Tree
Depending on the kind of species, the bamboo plant is found almost everywhere in the world. However, bamboo is grown naturally in different parts of the world, but most commonly it is cultivated in South-East Asia and the USA. It is believed that approximately five million acres of land in the USA were formerly planted with bamboo plants, but owing to the exceptionally productive soil, that area was eventually used for farming due to immigration. Talking about the climatic conditions, the bamboo plant is known primarily for thriving in humid environments, although it can also withstand drought and extremely cold temperatures down to -29° C. It may be grown in subtropical, tropical, and temperate climates.
Specifications of the Bamboo Tree
The bamboo tree is characterized by some specifications that make this plant unique from others. Let us get to know what are some of the features of a bamboo plant cultivated by farmers across the world.
- Bamboo is distinguished by culms that are lemon-yellow in color. These culms are covered with nodes and internodes, as well as deep green leaves.
- The culm’s structure is extremely robust, moderately flexible, and difficult to break.
- Culms can reach upto a height of 10-20 meters and a depth of 4-10 centimeters.
- Bamboo can develop quickly due to its rhizome-based structure. Bamboo has a root system that is nearly identical to that of the culm.
- It is a kind of subterranean culm that grows horizontally in the ground. A rhizome is a kind of subterranean culm. The only exception is that rhizomes develop roots and shoot at the nodes rather than leaves and branches.
- Bamboo can reach a length of 1 millimeter per 90 seconds and grow to a height of 910 millimeters within 24 hours.
- Bamboo has a short root system. Bamboo rhizomes usually grow during the first 6 inches of the ground’s surface.
- Bamboo takes around 60 days to fully mature to its maximum height, and after that time, it never increases in height or width again.
- Normally, the bamboo tree grows till the lifespan of up to 10 years.
- Bamboo usually does not reproduce any fruits. Also, flowering is also seen rare in bamboo trees.
Bamboo Plant Root System
Because the root structure of the Bamboo plant is short, it grows best in moist soil. The roots of the bamboo plant do not go deeper than 50 centimeters underneath the soil’s surface. During the formative stage of most bamboo plants, rhizome growth occurs from midsummer to early autumn. Bamboo is split into two varieties based on the type of Rhizome expansion: Clumping Bamboos and Running Bamboos. We will now go through these two sorts of bamboo plants in further detail.
In this type of bamboo, the rhizome growth has a distinctive property that is related to its name. Pachymorph rhizomes sprout upward with clumping bamboos, eventually forming a new culm. New rhizomes develop from the buds of an old rhizome, and so forth. The grove steadily grows around at the perimeter as a result of this aggregated effect. The bamboo has a clumping behavior as a result of its growth pattern. The Rhizome starts to grow vertically and emerges from the ground in this kind, eventually developing into a culm. Newer roots sprout from the culm, and the process continues in this way. The roots of bamboo now seem to be in the shape of a cluster, leading to the creation of a clump. Maybe that’s why bamboos planted in pots appear to be dense, despite the fact that they are merely one plant with many stems.
The clumping bamboo’s regular development makes it easy to manage even without the requirement for confinement procedures that a runaway bamboo could require. Most clumping bamboos only grow a few inches from around the primary plant each year. This is dependent on the bamboo’s kind and development. The clumping bamboo grove’s sluggish development will ultimately hit a limit, at which point root trimming will be required. Clumping bamboos have a desirable attribute for cultivating in pots or containers because of their clumping nature. Clumping bamboos may stay in a pot for much longer before becoming root-bound and needing to be re-potted.
The rhizome of this variety of bamboo develops horizontally in the soil and never emerges above the surface. Although fresh buds emerge from Rhizome internodes, these blooms never form a culm and, except for a few, stay inactive. Running bamboos possess leptomorph rhizomes that grow horizontally in the soil. The nodes of the rhizomes produce new buds and roots. The biggest issue with flowing Bamboo is its spread since the horizontally spreading Rhizome takes up all of the available space and grows across the entire region. As a result, numerous strategies for preventing the spread of these runaway Bamboos are available. Because the Rhizome spreads horizontally into the surface, it has the potential to kill the roots of nearby plants.
Growth of the Bamboo Shoots
The buds that mature into shoots are crucial to the development of a new culm. As previously stated, fresh bamboo shoots may develop at incredible rates. Some bamboo varieties have been known to grow more than 3 inches in a single day. In just one hour, they grow by almost 1.5 more inches! Unlike typical hardwood trees, whose trunk diameter becomes broader with age, the thickness of a bamboo culm remains constant throughout its existence. The thickness of a new culm is influenced by the width of a new shoot. If your shoot is 1″ in diameter, the new culm will be 1″ in diameter as well. A shoot with a diameter of 6″ will generate a culm with a diameter of 6″, and so on. In addition, the culm never grows higher over its lifetime.
Now, let us talk about some of the major uses of the bamboo plant in our daily lives.
Bamboo Plant For Medicinal Uses
- The bamboo plant can be utilized as a medicinal plant. It can cure several kidney-related diseases in humans.
- For relieving the symptoms of cough and mucus in children, the use of black bamboo is well-known.
- In the treatment of Cancer, the roots of the Banyan tree can be helpful.
- To treat several bone-related diseases, the people from the Indonesian villages used to utilize the water of the culms from the Bamboo tree.
- It is said that the bamboo tree leaves are used for curing Spasmodic disorders.
- It can also treat digestion-related diseases in humans.
- Women in India used the leaves of the Bamboo trees to stimulate and regulate their menstrual period.
- Children are also given the leaves of the Bamboo plant to treat acute diarrhea.
Bamboo Plant In Building Materials
Due to the flexible and strong stem of the Bamboo plant, it can be utilized for making houses and buildings. The bamboo sticks can be served as a scaffolding material for building houses, bridges, etc.
Bamboo Plant in the Making of Musical Instruments
We all know that the bamboo plant possesses a hollow stem structure. And when it is tapped, this bamboo stem can produce a different sound. Bamboo is widely used by the musicians of the Philippines in the Philippine Banda Kawayan band for their music equipment. All the musical instruments such as flute, drums, panpipes, clarinets, tubas, and saxophones are made up of the Bamboo plant. The bamboo plant can also be used in the making of several ornaments such as bracelets, earrings, necklaces, etc.
Bamboo For Decoration
Bamboo is frequently utilized as a home decoration. Bamboo may be used to make lamps, platters, vases, picture frames, and other items, giving the home a tropical feel. Bamboo is widely employed in the manufacture of household furnishings. Patio furniture, in particular, is frequently constructed from bamboo stems. Bamboo stems were once used to make toys.
Interesting Facts About the Bamboo Plant
When contrasted to other plants, bamboo generates 30% extra oxygen. The fastest rising plant in the world is a variety of bamboo plant that holds the Guinness World Record. Bamboo is consumed by a wide range of animals. Panda’s diet, for instance, consists entirely of bamboo. Bamboo has a higher tensile strength than all of the steel materials. Its durability is also the highest in terms of steel and other building materials.