Bamboo, (subfamily Bambusoideae), a subfamily of tall, tree-like grasses in the family Poaceae, consisting of more than 115 genera and 1400 species. Bamboos are distributed in tropical, subtropical and mild temperate regions, with the highest concentrations and species in East and Southeast Asia and on islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Bamboos are generally fast-growing perennials, with some species growing up to 100 cm a day. The woody, ring-shaped stems are typically hollow between rings (nodes) and grow in branching clumps from a thick rhizome (underground stem). Bamboo trunks can reach heights of 10-15 cm for the smallest species and over 40 metres for the largest. The characteristics of bamboo are Strength, Resilience, Strong roots, Continuous growth, Durability.
Bamboo is used for many purposes, especially in East and Southeast Asia. Bamboo is incredibly strong, in fact it has outstanding tensile strength, stronger than steel, and is used as an alternative material in construction. The spliced stalk of bamboo is perhaps the most widely used; the largest stalks are used to make planks for houses and rafts, while both smaller and larger stalks are spliced together to form scaffolding used in construction. The stems are also used to make baskets, buckets and pipes, as well as furniture, flooring, walking sticks, fishing poles, garden stakes and other utensils. Some bamboo species are used as ornamental plants in gardens. In Feng Shui, bamboo is also a symbol of good luck.
Our bamboo products require no treatment to preserve quality.
Why is bamboo a sustainable material? Bamboo is an incredibly renewable and versatile plant. Although hard like wood, it is actually a grass and some varieties can grow over a metre a day. The plant needs very little water and does not need to be sprayed with pesticides or fertilizers to grow. Its maintenance is therefore simple and risk-free.
Bamboo has long been a source of inspiration. A famous quote by Bruce Lee highlights the qualities of bamboo – its ability to be incredibly strong yet resilient: “Notice that the stiffest tree breaks most easily, while bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” This motivational quote encourages us to strive for excellence by allowing for change, compromise and adaptation.
Most bamboos flower and produce seeds only after 12-120 years of growth, and then only once in their lifetime; reproduction is largely vegetative.
The pulped fibres of several species of bamboo, especially Dendrocalamus strictus and Bambusa bambos, are used to produce fine quality paper.
The fine-grained silica produced in the joints of bamboo stems has been used for centuries as a medicine in the East under the name tabasheer. East Asian artists, poets and connoisseurs have long celebrated the beauty and usefulness of bamboo in paintings and poems.
In Asian countries, people flee to bamboo groves and forests in times of earthquakes as they are considered very safe places due to their stable root system.
Thomas Edison used a charred bamboo stalk in his FIRST successful light bulb!