Pandas eat it, humans make stuff from it and it’s the fastest growing plant on Earth. Bamboo is pretty amazing, but why does bamboo grow so fast?
Did you know bamboo can grow up to 1.2m a day??
Not all bamboo grows at that rate. There are over 1000 different species, adapted to different environments. The fastest growing bamboo is tropical giant bamboo (Dendrocalamus asper).
Why does bamboo grow so fast?
Bamboo grows in dense forests where there’s not much light in the lower layers. Plants need light from the sun to grow and survive so must grow tall quickly to reach sunlight.
Unlike most trees bamboo grows with the same diameter so doesn’t waste growth thickening it’s stalk.
Uses of bamboo
Bamboo has many, many uses and is highly adaptable. Its hollow stems make it very strong. China has bridges made from bamboo and in Japan it is often used for scaffolding as its tensile strength is greater than steel!
Bamboo is also used in medicines, for making clothes, toys and even buildings!
Facts about Bamboo
Did you know bamboo survived closer to ground zero at Hiroshima than any other living thing?
Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants on Earth!
Some bamboo shoots can be eaten.
Bamboo is a great building material as it is relatively cheap, grows quickly, is strong and has great tensile strength.
Don’t forget to check out my other science questions kids ask too!