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For other uses, see Bamboo (disambiguation). Bamboo_sentence_0



Temporal range: Eocene–Recent PreꞒ O S D C P T J K Pg NBamboo_header_cell_0_0_0

Scientific classification BambusoideaeBamboo_header_cell_0_1_0
Kingdom:Bamboo_cell_0_2_0 PlantaeBamboo_cell_0_2_1
Clade:Bamboo_cell_0_3_0 TracheophytesBamboo_cell_0_3_1
Clade:Bamboo_cell_0_4_0 AngiospermsBamboo_cell_0_4_1
Clade:Bamboo_cell_0_5_0 MonocotsBamboo_cell_0_5_1
Clade:Bamboo_cell_0_6_0 CommelinidsBamboo_cell_0_6_1
Order:Bamboo_cell_0_7_0 PoalesBamboo_cell_0_7_1
Family:Bamboo_cell_0_8_0 PoaceaeBamboo_cell_0_8_1
Clade:Bamboo_cell_0_9_0 BOP cladeBamboo_cell_0_9_1
Subfamily:Bamboo_cell_0_10_0 Bambusoideae



Bamboos are evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae. Bamboo_sentence_1

The origin of the word "bamboo" is uncertain, but it probably comes from the Dutch or Portuguese language, which originally borrowed it from Malay or Kannada. Bamboo_sentence_2

In bamboo, as in other grasses, the internodal regions of the stem are usually hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross-section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement. Bamboo_sentence_3

The dicotyledonous woody xylem is also absent. Bamboo_sentence_4

The absence of secondary growth wood causes the stems of monocots, including the palms and large bamboos, to be columnar rather than tapering. Bamboo_sentence_5

Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world, due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Bamboo_sentence_6

Certain species of bamboo can grow 910 mm (36 in) within a 24-hour period, at a rate of almost 40 mm (1 ⁄2 in) an hour (a growth around 1 mm every 90 seconds, or 1 inch every 40 minutes). Bamboo_sentence_7

Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboo_sentence_8

This rapid growth and tolerance for marginal land, make bamboo a good candidate for afforestation, carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation. Bamboo_sentence_9

Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo_sentence_10

Bamboo, like wood, is a natural composite material with a high strength-to-weight ratio useful for structures. Bamboo_sentence_11

Bamboo's strength-to-weight ratio is similar to timber, and its strength is generally similar to a strong softwood or hardwood timber. Bamboo_sentence_12

Systematics and taxonomy Bamboo_section_0

Bamboos have long been considered the most primitive grasses, mostly because of the presence of bracteate, indeterminate inflorescences, "pseudospikelets", and flowers with three lodicules, six stamens, and three stigmata. Bamboo_sentence_13

Following more recent molecular phylogenetic research, many tribes and genera of grasses formerly included in the Bambusoideae are now classified in other subfamilies, e.g. the Anomochlooideae, the Puelioideae, and the Ehrhartoideae. Bamboo_sentence_14

The subfamily in its current sense belongs to the BOP clade of grasses, where it is sister to the Pooideae (bluegrasses and relatives). Bamboo_sentence_15

The bamboos comprise three clades classified as tribes, and these strongly correspond with geographic divisions representing the New World herbaceous species (Olyreae), tropical woody bamboos (Bambuseae), and temperate woody bamboos (Arundinarieae). Bamboo_sentence_16

The woody bamboos do not form a monophyletic group; instead, the tropical woody and herbaceous bamboos are sister to the temperate woody bamboos. Bamboo_sentence_17

Altogether, more than 1,400 species are placed in 115 genera. Bamboo_sentence_18

Distribution Bamboo_section_1

Most bamboo species are native to warm and moist tropical and to warm temperate climates. Bamboo_sentence_19

However, many species are found in diverse climates, ranging from hot tropical regions to cool mountainous regions and highland cloud forests. Bamboo_sentence_20

In the Asia-Pacific region they occur across East Asia, from north to 50 °N latitude in Sakhalin, to south to northern Australia, and west to India and the Himalayas. Bamboo_sentence_21

China, Japan, Korea, India and Australia, all have several endemic populations. Bamboo_sentence_22

They also occur in small numbers in sub-Saharan Africa, confined to tropical areas, from southern Senegal in the north to southern Mozambique and Madagascar in the south. Bamboo_sentence_23

In the Americas, bamboo has a native range from 47 °S in southern Argentina and the beech forests of central Chile, through the South American tropical rainforests, to the Andes in Ecuador near 4,300 m (14,000 ft). Bamboo_sentence_24

Bamboo is also native through Central America and Mexico, northward into the Southeastern United States. Bamboo_sentence_25

Canada and continental Europe are not known to have any native species of bamboo. Bamboo_sentence_26

As garden plants, many species grow readily outside these ranges, including most of Europe and the United States. Bamboo_sentence_27

Recently, some attempts have been made to grow bamboo on a commercial basis in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa, especially in Rwanda. Bamboo_sentence_28

In the United States, several companies are growing, harvesting, and distributing species such as Phyllostachys nigra (Henon) and Phyllostachys edulis (Moso). Bamboo_sentence_29


  • Bamboo_item_0_0
  • Bamboo_item_0_1
  • Bamboo_item_0_2
  • Bamboo_item_0_3
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  • Bamboo_item_0_5
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  • Bamboo_item_0_8

Ecology Bamboo_section_2

The two general patterns for the growth of bamboo are "clumping", and "running", with short and long underground rhizomes, respectively. Bamboo_sentence_30

Clumping bamboo species tend to spread slowly, as the growth pattern of the rhizomes is to simply expand the root mass gradually, similar to ornamental grasses. Bamboo_sentence_31

"Running" bamboos, though, need to be controlled during cultivation because of their potential for aggressive behavior. Bamboo_sentence_32

They spread mainly through their rhizomes, which can spread widely underground and send up new culms to break through the surface. Bamboo_sentence_33

Running bamboo species are highly variable in their tendency to spread; this is related to both the species and the soil and climate conditions. Bamboo_sentence_34

Some can send out runners of several metres a year, while others can stay in the same general area for long periods. Bamboo_sentence_35

If neglected, over time, they can cause problems by moving into adjacent areas. Bamboo_sentence_36

Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants on Earth, with reported growth rates up to 910 mm (36 in) in 24 hours. Bamboo_sentence_37

However, the growth rate is dependent on local soil and climatic conditions, as well as species, and a more typical growth rate for many commonly cultivated bamboos in temperate climates is in the range of 30–100 mm (1–4 in) per day during the growing period. Bamboo_sentence_38

Primarily growing in regions of warmer climates during the late Cretaceous period, vast fields existed in what is now Asia. Bamboo_sentence_39

Some of the largest timber bamboo can grow over 30 m (98 ft) tall, and be as large as 250–300 mm (10–12 in) in diameter. Bamboo_sentence_40

However, the size range for mature bamboo is species-dependent, with the smallest bamboos reaching only several inches high at maturity. Bamboo_sentence_41

A typical height range that would cover many of the common bamboos grown in the United States is 4.5–12 m (15–39 ft), depending on species. Bamboo_sentence_42

Anji County of China, known as the "Town of Bamboo", provides the optimal climate and soil conditions to grow, harvest, and process some of the most valued bamboo poles available worldwide. Bamboo_sentence_43

Unlike all trees, individual bamboo culms emerge from the ground at their full diameter and grow to their full height in a single growing season of three to four months. Bamboo_sentence_44

During this time, each new shoot grows vertically into a culm with no branching out until the majority of the mature height is reached. Bamboo_sentence_45

Then, the branches extend from the nodes and leafing out occurs. Bamboo_sentence_46

In the next year, the pulpy wall of each culm slowly hardens. Bamboo_sentence_47

During the third year, the culm hardens further. Bamboo_sentence_48

The shoot is now a fully mature culm. Bamboo_sentence_49

Over the next 2–5 years (depending on species), fungus begins to form on the outside of the culm, which eventually penetrates and overcomes the culm. Bamboo_sentence_50

Around 5–8 years later (species- and climate-dependent), the fungal growths cause the culm to collapse and decay. Bamboo_sentence_51

This brief life means culms are ready for harvest and suitable for use in construction within about three to seven years. Bamboo_sentence_52

Individual bamboo culms do not get any taller or larger in diameter in subsequent years than they do in their first year, and they do not replace any growth lost from pruning or natural breakage. Bamboo_sentence_53

Bamboo has a wide range of hardiness depending on species and locale. Bamboo_sentence_54

Small or young specimens of an individual species produce small culms initially. Bamboo_sentence_55

As the clump and its rhizome system mature, taller and larger culms are produced each year until the plant approaches its particular species limits of height and diameter. Bamboo_sentence_56

Many tropical bamboo species die at or near freezing temperatures, while some of the hardier temperate bamboos can survive temperatures as low as −29 °C (−20 °F). Bamboo_sentence_57

Some of the hardiest bamboo species can be grown in USDA plant hardiness zone 5, although they typically defoliate and may even lose all above-ground growth, yet the rhizomes survive and send up shoots again the next spring. Bamboo_sentence_58

In milder climates, such as USDA zone 7 and above, most bamboo remain fully leafed out and green year-round. Bamboo_sentence_59

Mass flowering Bamboo_section_3

Further information: Bamboo blossom Bamboo_sentence_60

Bamboos seldom and unpredictably flower and the frequency of flowering varies greatly from species to species. Bamboo_sentence_61

Once flowering takes place, a plant declines and often dies entirely. Bamboo_sentence_62

In fact, many species only flower at intervals as long as 65 or 120 years. Bamboo_sentence_63

These taxa exhibit mass flowering (or gregarious flowering), with all plants in a particular 'cohort' flowering over a several-year period. Bamboo_sentence_64

Any plant derived through clonal propagation from this cohort will also flower regardless of whether it has been planted in a different location. Bamboo_sentence_65

The longest mass flowering interval known is 130 years, and it is for the species Phyllostachys bambusoides (Sieb. Bamboo_sentence_66

& Zucc.). Bamboo_sentence_67

In this species, all plants of the same stock flower at the same time, regardless of differences in geographic locations or climatic conditions, and then the bamboo dies. Bamboo_sentence_68

The lack of environmental impact on the time of flowering indicates the presence of some sort of "alarm clock" in each cell of the plant which signals the diversion of all energy to flower production and the cessation of vegetative growth. Bamboo_sentence_69

This mechanism, as well as the evolutionary cause behind it, is still largely a mystery. Bamboo_sentence_70

One hypothesis to explain the evolution of this semelparous mass flowering is the predator satiation hypothesis, which argues that by fruiting at the same time, a population increases the survival rate of its seeds by flooding the area with fruit, so even if predators eat their fill, seeds will still be left over. Bamboo_sentence_71

By having a flowering cycle longer than the lifespan of the rodent predators, bamboos can regulate animal populations by causing starvation during the period between flowering events. Bamboo_sentence_72

Thus, the death of the adult clone is due to resource exhaustion, as it would be more effective for parent plants to devote all resources to creating a large seed crop than to hold back energy for their own regeneration. Bamboo_sentence_73

Another, the fire cycle hypothesis, states that periodic flowering followed by death of the adult plants has evolved as a mechanism to create disturbance in the habitat, thus providing the seedlings with a gap in which to grow. Bamboo_sentence_74

This argues that the dead culms create a large fuel load, and also a large target for lightning strikes, increasing the likelihood of wildfire. Bamboo_sentence_75

Because bamboos can be aggressive as early successional plants, the seedlings would be able to outstrip other plants and take over the space left by their parents. Bamboo_sentence_76

However, both have been disputed for different reasons. Bamboo_sentence_77

The predator satiation hypothesis does not explain why the flowering cycle is 10 times longer than the lifespan of the local rodents, something not predicted. Bamboo_sentence_78

The bamboo fire cycle hypothesis is considered by a few scientists to be unreasonable; they argue that fires only result from humans and there is no natural fire in India. Bamboo_sentence_79

This notion is considered wrong based on distribution of lightning strike data during the dry season throughout India. Bamboo_sentence_80

However, another argument against this is the lack of precedent for any living organism to harness something as unpredictable as lightning strikes to increase its chance of survival as part of natural evolutionary progress. Bamboo_sentence_81

More recently, a mathematical explanation for the extreme length of the flowering cycles has been offered, involving both the stabilising selection implied by the predator satiation hypothesis and others, and the fact that plants that flower at longer intervals tend to release more seeds. Bamboo_sentence_82

The hypothesis claims that bamboo flowering intervals grew by integer multiplication. Bamboo_sentence_83

A mutant bamboo plant flowering at a noninteger multiple of its population's flowering interval would release its seeds alone, and would not enjoy the benefits of collective flowering (such as protection from predators). Bamboo_sentence_84

However, a mutant bamboo plant flowering at an integer multiple of its population's flowering interval would release its seeds only during collective flowering events, and would release more seeds than the average plant in the population. Bamboo_sentence_85

It could, therefore, take over the population, establishing a flowering interval that is an integer multiple of the previous flowering interval. Bamboo_sentence_86

The hypothesis predicts that observed bamboo flowering intervals should factorize into small prime numbers. Bamboo_sentence_87

The mass fruiting also has direct economic and ecological consequences, however. Bamboo_sentence_88

The huge increase in available fruit in the forests often causes a boom in rodent populations, leading to increases in disease and famine in nearby human populations. Bamboo_sentence_89

For example, devastating consequences occur when the Melocanna bambusoides population flowers and fruits once every 30–35 years around the Bay of Bengal. Bamboo_sentence_90

The death of the bamboo plants following their fruiting means the local people lose their building material; and the large increase in bamboo fruit leads to a rapid increase in rodent populations. Bamboo_sentence_91

As the number of rodents increases, they consume all available food, including grain fields and stored food, sometimes leading to famine. Bamboo_sentence_92

These rats can also carry dangerous diseases, such as typhus, typhoid, and bubonic plague, which can reach epidemic proportions as the rodents increase in number. Bamboo_sentence_93

The relationship between rat populations and bamboo flowering was examined in a 2009 Nova documentary "Rat Attack". Bamboo_sentence_94

In any case, flowering produces masses of seeds, typically suspended from the ends of the branches. Bamboo_sentence_95

These seeds give rise to a new generation of plants that may be identical in appearance to those that preceded the flowering, or they may produce new cultivars with different characteristics, such as the presence or absence of striping or other changes in coloration of the culms. Bamboo_sentence_96

Several bamboo species are never known to set seed even when sporadically flowering has been reported. Bamboo_sentence_97

Bambusa vulgaris, Bambusa balcooa, and Dendrocalamus stocksii are common examples of such bamboo. Bamboo_sentence_98

Invasive species Bamboo_section_4

Some bamboo species are acknowledged as having high potential for becoming invasive species. Bamboo_sentence_99

A study commissioned by International Bamboo and Rattan Organisation, found that invasive species typically are varieties that spread via rhizomes rather than by clumping, as most commercially viable woody bamboos do. Bamboo_sentence_100

Certain bamboos have become problematic, such as Phyllostachys species of bamboo are also considered invasive and illegal to sell or propagate in some areas of the US. Bamboo_sentence_101

Animal diet Bamboo_section_5

Soft bamboo shoots, stems and leaves are the major food source of the giant panda of China, the red panda of Nepal, and the bamboo lemurs of Madagascar. Bamboo_sentence_102

Rats eat the fruits as described above. Bamboo_sentence_103

Mountain gorillas of Central Africa also feed on bamboo, and have been documented consuming bamboo sap which was fermented and alcoholic; chimpanzees and elephants of the region also eat the stalks. Bamboo_sentence_104

The larvae of the bamboo borer (the moth Omphisa fuscidentalis) of Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Yunnan, China feed off the pulp of live bamboo. Bamboo_sentence_105

In turn, these caterpillars are considered a local delicacy. Bamboo_sentence_106

Human health Bamboo_section_6

Gardeners working with bamboo plants have occasionally reported allergic reactions varying from no effects during previous exposures, to immediate itchiness and rash developing into red welts after several hours where the skin had been in contact with the plant (contact allergy), and in some cases into swollen eyelids and breathing difficulties (dyspnoea). Bamboo_sentence_107

A skin prick test using bamboo extract was positive for the immunoglobulin E (IgE) in an available case study. Bamboo_sentence_108

Cultivation Bamboo_section_7

Bamboo cultivation Bamboo_section_8

Harvesting Bamboo_section_9

Leaching Bamboo_section_10

Leaching is the removal of sap after harvest. Bamboo_sentence_109

In many areas of the world, the sap levels in harvested bamboo are reduced either through leaching or postharvest photosynthesis. Bamboo_sentence_110

For example: Bamboo_sentence_111


  • Cut bamboo is raised clear of the ground and leaned against the rest of the clump for one to two weeks until leaves turn yellow to allow full consumption of sugars by the plant.Bamboo_item_1_9
  • A similar method is undertaken, but with the base of the culm standing in fresh water, either in a large drum or stream to leach out sap.Bamboo_item_1_10
  • Cut culms are immersed in a running stream and weighted down for three to four weeks.Bamboo_item_1_11
  • Water is pumped through the freshly cut culms, forcing out the sap (this method is often used in conjunction with the injection of some form of treatment).Bamboo_item_1_12

In the process of water leaching, the bamboo is dried slowly and evenly in the shade to avoid cracking in the outer skin of the bamboo, thereby reducing opportunities for pest infestation. Bamboo_sentence_112

Durability of bamboo in construction is directly related to how well it is handled from the moment of planting through harvesting, transportation, storage, design, construction, and maintenance. Bamboo_sentence_113

Bamboo harvested at the correct time of year and then exposed to ground contact or rain will break down just as quickly as incorrectly harvested material. Bamboo_sentence_114

Uses Bamboo_section_11

Culinary Bamboo_section_12

Fuel Bamboo_section_13

Bamboo charcoal has been traditionally used as fuel in China and Japan. Bamboo_sentence_115

Bamboo can also be utilized as a biofuel crop. Bamboo_sentence_116

Writing pen Bamboo_section_14

Fabric Bamboo_section_15

Bambooworking Bamboo_section_16

Bamboo was used by humans for various purposes at a very early time. Bamboo_sentence_117

Categories of Bambooworking include: Bamboo_sentence_118

Construction Bamboo_section_17

Further information: Bamboo construction Bamboo_sentence_119

Bamboo, like true wood, is a natural building material with a high strength-to-weight ratio useful for structures. Bamboo_sentence_120

In its natural form, bamboo as a construction material is traditionally associated with the cultures of South Asia, East Asia, and the South Pacific, to some extent in Central and South America, and by extension in the aesthetic of Tiki culture. Bamboo_sentence_121

In China and India, bamboo was used to hold up simple suspension bridges, either by making cables of split bamboo or twisting whole culms of sufficiently pliable bamboo together. Bamboo_sentence_122

One such bridge in the area of Qian-Xian is referenced in writings dating back to 960 AD and may have stood since as far back as the third century BC, due largely to continuous maintenance. Bamboo_sentence_123

Bamboo has also long been used as scaffolding; the practice has been banned in China for buildings over six stories, but is still in continuous use for skyscrapers in Hong Kong. Bamboo_sentence_124

In the Philippines, the nipa hut is a fairly typical example of the most basic sort of housing where bamboo is used; the walls are split and woven bamboo, and bamboo slats and poles may be used as its support. Bamboo_sentence_125

In Japanese architecture, bamboo is used primarily as a supplemental or decorative element in buildings such as fencing, fountains, grates, and gutters, largely due to the ready abundance of quality timber. Bamboo_sentence_126

Textiles Bamboo_section_18

Main article: Bamboo textiles Bamboo_sentence_127

Since the fibers of bamboo are very short (less than 3 mm or ⁄8 in), they are not usually transformed into yarn by a natural process. Bamboo_sentence_128

The usual process by which textiles labeled as being made of bamboo are produced uses only rayon made from the fibers with heavy employment of chemicals. Bamboo_sentence_129

To accomplish this, the fibers are broken down with chemicals and extruded through mechanical spinnerets; the chemicals include lye, carbon disulfide, and strong acids. Bamboo_sentence_130

Retailers have sold both end products as "bamboo fabric" to cash in on bamboo's current ecofriendly cachet; however, the Canadian Competition Bureau and the US Federal Trade Commission, as of mid-2009, are cracking down on the practice of labeling bamboo rayon as natural bamboo fabric. Bamboo_sentence_131

Under the guidelines of both agencies, these products must be labeled as rayon with the optional qualifier "from bamboo". Bamboo_sentence_132

As a writing surface Bamboo_section_19

Further information: Bamboo and wooden slips Bamboo_sentence_133

Bamboo was in widespread use in early China as a medium for written documents. Bamboo_sentence_134

The earliest surviving examples of such documents, written in ink on string-bound bundles of bamboo strips (or "slips"), date from the 5th century BC during the Warring States period. Bamboo_sentence_135

However, references in earlier texts surviving on other media make it clear that some precursor of these Warring States period bamboo slips was in use as early as the late Shang period (from about 1250 BC). Bamboo_sentence_136

Bamboo or wooden strips were used as the standard writing material during the early Han dynasty, and excavated examples have been found in abundance. Bamboo_sentence_137

Subsequently, paper began to displace bamboo and wooden strips from mainstream uses, and by the 4th century AD, bamboo slips had been largely abandoned as a medium for writing in China. Bamboo_sentence_138

Bamboo fiber has been used to make paper in China since early times. Bamboo_sentence_139

A high-quality, handmade paper is still produced in small quantities. Bamboo_sentence_140

Coarse bamboo paper is still used to make spirit money in many Chinese communities. Bamboo_sentence_141

Bamboo pulps are mainly produced in China, Myanmar, Thailand, and India, and are used in printing and writing papers. Bamboo_sentence_142

Several paper industries are surviving on bamboo forests. Bamboo_sentence_143

Ballarpur (Chandrapur, Maharstra) paper mills use bamboo for paper production. Bamboo_sentence_144

The most common bamboo species used for paper are Dendrocalamus asper and Bambusa blumeana. Bamboo_sentence_145

It is also possible to make dissolving pulp from bamboo. Bamboo_sentence_146

The average fiber length is similar to hardwoods, but the properties of bamboo pulp are closer to softwood pulps due to it having a very broad fiber length distribution. Bamboo_sentence_147

With the help of molecular tools, it is now possible to distinguish the superior fiber-yielding species/varieties even at juvenile stages of their growth, which can help in unadulterated merchandise production. Bamboo_sentence_148

Weapons Bamboo_section_20

Bamboo has often been used to construct weapons and is still incorporated in several Asian martial arts. Bamboo_sentence_149


  • A bamboo staff, sometimes with one end sharpened, is used in the Tamil martial art of silambam, a word derived from a term meaning "hill bamboo".Bamboo_item_2_13
  • Staves used in the Indian martial art of gatka are commonly made from bamboo, a material favoured for its light weight.Bamboo_item_2_14
  • A bamboo sword called a shinai is used in the Japanese martial art of kendo.Bamboo_item_2_15
  • Bamboo is used for crafting the bows, called yumi, and arrows used in the Japanese martial art kyūdō.Bamboo_item_2_16
  • The first gunpowder-based weapons, such as the fire lance, were made of bamboo.Bamboo_item_2_17
  • Bamboo was apparently used in East and South Asia as a means of torture.Bamboo_item_2_18

Musical instruments Bamboo_section_21

Main article: Bamboo musical instruments Bamboo_sentence_150

Other uses Bamboo_section_22

Bamboo has traditionally been used to make a wide range of everyday utensils and cutting boards, particularly in Japan, where archaeological excavations have uncovered bamboo baskets dating to the Late Jōmon period (2000–1000 BC). Bamboo_sentence_151

Bamboo has a long history of use in Asian furniture. Bamboo_sentence_152

Chinese bamboo furniture is a distinct style based on a millennia-long tradition, and bamboo is also used for floors due to its high hardness. Bamboo_sentence_153

Several manufacturers offer bamboo bicycles, surfboards, snowboards, and skateboards. Bamboo_sentence_154

Due to its flexibility, bamboo is also used to make fishing rods. Bamboo_sentence_155

The split cane rod is especially prized for fly fishing. Bamboo_sentence_156

Bamboo has been traditionally used in Malaysia as a firecracker called a meriam buluh or bamboo cannon. Bamboo_sentence_157

Four-foot-long sections of bamboo are cut, and a mixture of water and calcium carbide are introduced. Bamboo_sentence_158

The resulting acetylene gas is ignited with a stick, producing a loud bang. Bamboo_sentence_159

Bamboo can be used in water desalination. Bamboo_sentence_160

A bamboo filter is used to remove the salt from seawater. Bamboo_sentence_161

Many ethnic groups in remote areas that have water access in Asia use bamboo that is 3–5 years old to make rafts. Bamboo_sentence_162

They use 8 to 12 poles, 6–7 m (20–23 ft) long, laid together side by side to a width of about 1 m (3 ft). Bamboo_sentence_163

Once the poles are lined up together, they cut a hole crosswise through the poles at each end and use a small bamboo pole pushed through that hole like a screw to hold all the long bamboo poles together. Bamboo_sentence_164

Floating houses use whole bamboo stalks tied together in a big bunch to support the house floating in the water. Bamboo_sentence_165

Bamboo is also used to make eating utensils such as chopsticks, trays, and tea scoops. Bamboo_sentence_166

The Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD) Chinese scientist and polymath Shen Kuo (1031–1095) used the evidence of underground petrified bamboo found in the dry northern climate of Yan'an, Shanbei region, Shaanxi province to support his geological theory of gradual climate change. Bamboo_sentence_167

Symbolism and culture Bamboo_section_23

Bamboo's long life makes it a Chinese symbol of uprightness and an Indian symbol of friendship. Bamboo_sentence_168

The rarity of its blossoming has led to the flowers' being regarded as a sign of impending famine. Bamboo_sentence_169

This may be due to rats feeding upon the profusion of flowers, then multiplying and destroying a large part of the local food supply. Bamboo_sentence_170

The most recent flowering began in May 2006 (see Mautam). Bamboo_sentence_171

Bamboo is said to bloom in this manner only about every 50 years (see 28–60 year examples in ). Bamboo_sentence_172

In Chinese culture, the bamboo, plum blossom, orchid, and chrysanthemum (often known as méi lán zhú jú 梅蘭竹菊 in Chinese) are collectively referred to as the Four Gentlemen. Bamboo_sentence_173

These four plants also represent the four seasons and, in Confucian ideology, four aspects of the junzi ("prince" or "noble one"). Bamboo_sentence_174

The pine (sōng 松), the bamboo (zhú 竹), and the plum blossom (méi 梅) are also admired for their perseverance under harsh conditions, and are together known as the "Three Friends of Winter" (歲寒三友 suìhán sānyǒu) in Chinese culture. Bamboo_sentence_175

The "Three Friends of Winter" is traditionally used as a system of ranking in Japan, for example in sushi sets or accommodations at a traditional ryokan. Bamboo_sentence_176

Pine (matsu 松 in Japanese) is of the first rank, bamboo (take 竹) is of second rank, and plum (ume 梅) is of the third. Bamboo_sentence_177

The Bozo ethnic group of West Africa take their name from the Bambara phrase bo-so, which means "bamboo house". Bamboo_sentence_178

Bamboo is also the national plant of St. Bamboo_sentence_179 Lucia. Bamboo_sentence_180

Attributions of character Bamboo_section_24

Bamboo, one of the "Four Gentlemen" (bamboo, orchid, plum blossom and chrysanthemum), plays such an important role in traditional Chinese culture that it is even regarded as a behavior model of the gentleman. Bamboo_sentence_181

As bamboo has features such as uprightness, tenacity, and modesty, people endow bamboo with integrity, elegance, and plainness, though it is not physically strong. Bamboo_sentence_182

Countless poems praising bamboo written by ancient Chinese poets are actually metaphorically about people who exhibited these characteristics. Bamboo_sentence_183

An ancient poet, Bai Juyi (772–846), thought that to be a gentleman, a man does not need to be physically strong, but he must be mentally strong, upright, and perseverant. Bamboo_sentence_184

Just as a bamboo is hollow-hearted, he should open his heart to accept anything of benefit and never have arrogance or prejudice. Bamboo_sentence_185

Bamboo is not only a symbol of a gentleman, but also plays an important role in Buddhism, which was introduced into China in the first century. Bamboo_sentence_186

As canons of Buddhism forbids cruelty to animals, flesh and egg were not allowed in the diet. Bamboo_sentence_187

The tender bamboo shoot (sǔn 筍 in Chinese) thus became a nutritious alternative. Bamboo_sentence_188

Preparation methods developed over thousands of years have come to be incorporated into Asian cuisines, especially for monks. Bamboo_sentence_189

A Buddhist monk, Zan Ning, wrote a manual of the bamboo shoot called Sǔn Pǔ (筍譜) offering descriptions and recipes for many kinds of bamboo shoots. Bamboo_sentence_190

Bamboo shoot has always been a traditional dish on the Chinese dinner table, especially in southern China. Bamboo_sentence_191

In ancient times, those who could afford a big house with a yard would plant bamboo in their garden. Bamboo_sentence_192

In Japan, a bamboo forest sometimes surrounds a Shinto shrine as part of a sacred barrier against evil. Bamboo_sentence_193

Many Buddhist temples also have bamboo groves. Bamboo_sentence_194

Bamboo plays an important part of the culture of Vietnam. Bamboo_sentence_195

Bamboo symbolizes the spirit of Vovinam (a Vietnamese martial arts): cương nhu phối triển (coordination between hard and soft (martial arts)). Bamboo_sentence_196

Bamboo also symbolizes the Vietnamese hometown and Vietnamese soul: the gentlemanlike, straightforwardness, hard working, optimism, unity, and adaptability. Bamboo_sentence_197

A Vietnamese proverb says, "Tre già, măng mọc" (When the bamboo is old, the bamboo sprouts appear), the meaning being Vietnam will never be annihilated; if the previous generation dies, the children take their place. Bamboo_sentence_198

Therefore, the Vietnam nation and Vietnamese value will be maintained and developed eternally. Bamboo_sentence_199

Traditional Vietnamese villages are surrounded by thick bamboo hedges (lũy tre). Bamboo_sentence_200

In mythology Bamboo_section_25

Several Asian cultures, including that of the Andaman Islands, believe humanity emerged from a bamboo stem. Bamboo_sentence_201

In Philippine mythology, one of the more famous creation accounts tells of the first man, Malakás ("Strong"), and the first woman, Maganda ("Beautiful"), each emerged from one half of a split bamboo stem on an island formed after the battle between Sky and Ocean. Bamboo_sentence_202

In Malaysia, a similar story includes a man who dreams of a beautiful woman while sleeping under a bamboo plant; he wakes up and breaks the bamboo stem, discovering the woman inside. Bamboo_sentence_203

The Japanese folktale "Tale of the Bamboo Cutter" (Taketori Monogatari) tells of a princess from the Moon emerging from a shining bamboo section. Bamboo_sentence_204

Hawaiian bamboo ('ohe) is a kinolau or body form of the Polynesian creator god Kāne. Bamboo_sentence_205

A bamboo cane is also the weapon of Vietnamese legendary hero, Thánh Gióng, who had grown up immediately and magically since the age of three because of his wish to liberate his land from Ân invaders. Bamboo_sentence_206

The ancient Vietnamese legend Cây tre trăm đốt (The Hundred-knot Bamboo Tree) tells of a poor, young farmer who fell in love with his landlord's beautiful daughter. Bamboo_sentence_207

The farmer asked the landlord for his daughter's hand in marriage, but the proud landlord would not allow her to be bound in marriage to a poor farmer. Bamboo_sentence_208

The landlord decided to foil the marriage with an impossible deal; the farmer must bring him a "bamboo tree of 100 nodes". Bamboo_sentence_209

But Gautama Buddha (Bụt) appeared to the farmer and told him that such a tree could be made from 100 nodes from several different trees. Bamboo_sentence_210

Bụt gave to him four magic words to attach the many nodes of bamboo: Khắc nhập, khắc xuất, which means "joined together immediately, fell apart immediately". Bamboo_sentence_211

The triumphant farmer returned to the landlord and demanded his daughter. Bamboo_sentence_212

Curious to see such a long bamboo, the landlord was magically joined to the bamboo when he touched it, as the young farmer said the first two magic words. Bamboo_sentence_213

The story ends with the happy marriage of the farmer and the landlord's daughter after the landlord agreed to the marriage and asked to be separated from the bamboo. Bamboo_sentence_214

In a Chinese legend, the Emperor Yao gave two of his daughters to the future Emperor Shun as a test for his potential to rule. Bamboo_sentence_215

Shun passed the test of being able to run his household with the two emperor's daughters as wives, and thus Yao made Shun his successor, bypassing his unworthy son. Bamboo_sentence_216

After Shun's death, the tears of his two bereaved wives fell upon the bamboos growing there explains the origin of spotted bamboo. Bamboo_sentence_217

The two women later became goddesses Xiangshuishen after drowning themselves in the Xiang River. Bamboo_sentence_218

See also Bamboo_section_26


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