Whatever your climate, there is a suitable species of bamboo for your garden. More than 300 bamboos are described, from tropical and subtropical species to hardy species with information on size, native range, and landscape use.
John Van de Water
- Timber Press, Incorporated
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 7.70(w) x 10.64(h) x 1.06(d)
Read an Excerpt
Bamboos are members of Bambusoideae, a subfamily of Poaceae. The great diversity of Bambusoideae bespeaks a long period of highly adaptive development. Bamboo forms include delicate, fernlike, tropical, herbaceous plants, perennial groundcovers, shrubs, vining climbers, and arborescent timber bamboos. For our modern world, these enduring grasses offer us great beauty and utility.
At least 90 genera and 1200 species are distributed throughout the world's temperate, tropical, and subtropical regions. A highly diverse member of the grass family, bamboos grow from sea level to high mountainous regions. Some groundcover bamboos reach a height of only a few inches and can be mowed like a lawn. At the other end of the scale are timber bamboos that live up to their name, growing like timber and forming towering forests. These giant grasses are harvestable for construction, paper pulp, and food. The uses for bamboo literally number in the thousands.
Bamboo is a principal defining element for many traditional cultures. Bamboo is shelter. It is food, and the means to acquire food. From womb to tomb, bamboo is the source of both physical and spriritual sustenance-the fiber of life.
Bamboo also offers many benefits for modern societies. Among them, bamboo is a prodigious and radpidly renewable source of fiber. Even as the world's forests and habitats rapidly decline, bamboo offers some solutions. As yet, however, this offer is largely unheard, and bamboo itself is at risk in many parts of the world, from unmanaged use by dense populations and from indiscriminate land clearing. The destruction of land and habitats in South America is most heinous. Some species have already disappeared from the face of the earth forever.
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