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That's Bamboo? Wow!

Updated on August 19, 2014
ecogranny profile image

An environmental enthusiast and activist her entire adult life, Kathryn shares her secrets to reducing waste and living greener.

Fabulous, versatile, sustainable bamboo

Bamboo is the eco-wonder of the world. It pumps oxygen into the air faster than trees, feeds the hungry, clothes the body, soothes the ear, carries water, digs potatoes, shelters the homeless as well as the privileged, and in case all that is not enough, bamboo is just plain beautiful.

Bamboo garden against red wall
© L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved

Here you will find links to some of the best, most informative sites about bamboo, plus surprising uses for this highly versatile plant, (Bamboo bicycle anyone?). Is bamboo safe to eat? How can you tell whether your bamboo product was manufactured under safe conditions? You'll find answers to these questions and more on this page.

Plus, if you're interested in taking advantage of the ecological benefits of this sustainable, renewable resource, look for links to my favorite picks in bamboo clothing, baby gifts, housewares and linens. Welcome!

Bamboo--eco-wonder of the world

What is stronger than hardwood, can grow up to 4 feet a day, and survived the bombing of Hirsohima? That's bamboo.

Bamboo garden, downtown San Francisco
Image © L Kathryn Grace, All rights reserved

But that's not all. Bamboo gives us clean air to breathe, consumes carbon dioxide and returns 35 percent more oxygen to the atmosphere than trees.

Wait! There's more! Because of its rapid growth and root structure, it can, in a very short time, reclaim land destroyed by overgrazing and over-building and clean the soil of toxins.

Plus, it grows so fast, that it can be harvested sustainably for thousands of products from chop sticks to mansions. What's not to love about bamboo?


Bamboo is the sustainable choice in thousands of products - We especially love bamboo clothing and gear for our grandbabies

Take this bamboo baby wrap. I care for my wee granddaughter frequently, as I did her sister, and I've tried several carriers. My favorite--and the baby's--is one similar to this Happy Wrap.

When I say "Want to go for a ride in the wrap?", the baby claps her hands and pulls the strap out, ready to settle in next to me.

Happy Wrap Organic Baby Carrier, Slate
Happy Wrap Organic Baby Carrier, Slate

I've been "wearing" my 9-month old granddaughter in a wrap similar to this one since she was about five months old. We both love it!

The bamboo rayon wicks moisture away from mom (or in my case, Grandma) and baby, keeping us both cool on a hot day, while holding baby securely tucked in.


For more baby care clothing and accessories, jump to Bamboo baby on this page. Or keep reading and learn more about this amazing plant.

Bambusa textilis - Image copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved
Bambusa textilis - Image copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved

Bamboo is a grass

Grows nearly everywhere

Like other grasses, it has jointed stems that are mostly hollow, and like many grasses, it is highly adaptable and can naturalize almost anywhere. Native to all continents except Europe and Antarctica, bamboo species grow in a variety of climates from tropical to frigid.

Gilberto Cortes, Regional Director of Bamboo in the Americas, estimates more than 1200 species worldwide, about 450 of them in the Americas. According to him, only one species, Arundinaria gigantea, commonly known as Cane Brake or Cane Reed, is native to the United States.

Image: Bambusa textilis
© L Kathryn Grace
All rights reserved

Will Cook, a plant ecology researcher at Duke University, identifies not one but three U.S. native bamboo species: Giant cane (A. gigantea), Switch cane (A. tecta), and Hill cane (A. appalachiana).

Gardening with bamboo

Bamboo garden, downtown San Francisco - Copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved
Bamboo garden, downtown San Francisco - Copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved

A gardener's delight

Gardeners love bamboo for its texture, color, gracefulness, and versatility. You can solve dozens of problems with the right bamboo. Use it as a screen to hide an unsightly fence, a backdrop to set off a variegated border, or a sponge to sop up water in a sandy, wet area.

In this downtown San Francisco plaza, 40-foot bamboos screen a brick wall, set the tone for lacy Japanese maples (in pots), cleanse and cool the air, and create an island of calm--one might say sacred space--in the middle of a bustling city.

Image copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved.

A stand of bamboo cools a city plaza on a hot day - Can you believe these tall columns are single stems of a grass plant?

Bamboo cools on a hot day - Image copyright L Kathrn Grace - All rights reserved
Bamboo cools on a hot day - Image copyright L Kathrn Grace - All rights reserved

Bamboo species are as varied as, well, grass. You will find them in every conceivable size and a variety of colors and textures. Some species are as tiny as blades of grass in your yard. Some are called tree bamboo because they grow like trees.

Like many grasses, some bamboos clump and are easily contained. Others grow from rhizomes and will spread.

When you choose a bamboo for your garden, make sure you know which kind you're getting. If you want a bamboo forest in your backyard, the spreading type is your best bet. If you want an isolated stand shading your Japanese water fountain, consider a clumping type.

Image copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved.

Black bamboo - Image copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved
Black bamboo - Image copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved

More gardens and gardener's tips

I'm always searching for new gardening tips and landscaping how-tos utilizing bamboo. In this section, you will find links to beautiful gardens as well as good books like the one below for finding hardy bamboo that winters well in cold climates and suits your particular landscaping needs.

Watch for tools too, both innovative and traditional--some used for thousands of years--as well as beautiful accessories for your garden and patio.

Image copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved.

Hardy Bamboos: Taming the Dragon - BY PAUL WHITTAKER

Think you cannot grow bamboo? There is a hardy bamboo that is right for almost any garden. Remember, some species grow in China on mountainsides covered with winter snows. But you don't have to go to China to learn which plants will work best in your landscape. Author Paul Whittaker has done the work for you. Find the right bamboo for your clime and the best ways to help it thrive in this beautiful book.

Hardy Bamboos: Taming the Dragon
Hardy Bamboos: Taming the Dragon

Hardy bamboos provide grace and texture to northern gardens. They make lovely screens for summer shade while letting through winter light. Paul Whittaker has tested and grown a variety of hardy bamboos. He shows you how to choose the right plant for your site and needs, where to find healthy stock, and how to avoid the pitfalls of invasive species.

Bambusa textilus - Copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved
Bambusa textilus - Copyright L Kathryn Grace - All rights reserved

Take a virtual tour of the bamboo garden at Foothill College

Los Altos, CA

This graceful two-acre garden began in 1989, with just six black bamboo plants. In 2004, when Foothill College last updated their bamboo garden page the garden had grown to 70 species of bamboo plants. If you are considering planting bamboo in a temperate clime, look here for comprehensive information about growing a wide variety of bamboo plants, from dwarfs to giants, and how they can be used ornamentally as well as functionally.

How many ways do we use bamboo?

See results

Macey loves his shoots - Licking his chops

Macey loves bamboo shoots - Image courtesy Bamboo Headquarters
Macey loves bamboo shoots - Image courtesy Bamboo Headquarters

Thanks to the friendly folks at Bamboo Headquarters for permission to use this image of their dog Macey to kick off our bamboo gardening tools section.

Macey is licking his chops over the tender shoots of Phyllostachys bissetii, a lovely ornamental that is also suitable for pots.

Bamboo HQ ships throughout the United States and carries bamboo plants for every climate zone. They have a nifty Bamboo finder to help you locate just the right bamboo plant for your area and garden.

In case you're wondering, I am not affiliated in any way with Bamboo HQ and receive no compensation or other consideration for mentioning them here.

Stake and rake with bamboo garden tools

Decorate, plant it and plant with it

Highly regenerative, bamboo is the ideal raw material for manufactured goods. Not only is bamboo a beautiful garden feature, it makes superb garden accessories and tools. Many of these implements and decorative features were designed hundreds, perhaps thousands of years ago..

Below are just two ways you can use these time-tested tools in your garden.


Gardener using bamboo stakes
A morgueFile free photo

Show off your viney florals with these bamboo trellises - Or stake a cucumber or tomato plant just outside the kitchen

Who know why the manufacturer chose this ugly image to illustrate their trellis, but it is one of the more sturdy and durable trellises I have found on the market today. The bamboo canes are 1/2" in diameter, so you know they'll last. Imagine how your clematis or bougainvilla will stand out, supported here. Or stake your cherry tomatoes outside your kitchen door, grow green beans against a sunny wall, or hide an unsightly neighbor's garage with a bank of old fashioned rose climbers. The possibilities are endless.

Bosmere L565 6-Feet by 4-Feet Expanding Bamboo Trellis for Vining Plants
Bosmere L565 6-Feet by 4-Feet Expanding Bamboo Trellis for Vining Plants

This Bosmere Design bamboo trellis expands and contracts to fit your space and needs. Maximum height: 72"; maximum width: 48"; height and width will vary depending on how the unit is expanded and contracted. Use this sturdy trellis to train a fruit tree espaliered against a sunny wall or run an attractive fence around your garbage and recycling bin area.


The trusty bamboo fan rake has been used for centuries - A well-used garden staple

Any tool that has been in productive use for centuries has to have been designed well, don't you think? Take advantage of centuries-old technology when you're scooping up winter debris on a bright spring day, and then again, grabbing flighty leaves on a blustery fall afternoon.

Flexrake CFP30 30-Inch Bamboo Rake with 48-Inch Wood Handle
Flexrake CFP30 30-Inch Bamboo Rake with 48-Inch Wood Handle

This rake features a generous 30" fan with reinforced bamboo head and 48" handle.


Unusual uses for this nearly ubiquitous grass

See the Calfee bamboo bicycle - by YouTube member snarp98

Wait till you get to the end--there's a tandem bamboo bicycle!


Bamboo is food

Bamboo shoots - Image courtesy University of Florida
Bamboo shoots - Image courtesy University of Florida

Nourishing millions for thousands of years

Bamboo shoots have been used in cooking in China, Japan and other Asian countries for thousands of years. Try this Pickled bamboo, poached chicken and lobster salad using fresh bamboo shoots. Recipe page includes lovely photographs of the finished dish.

Or try this scrumptious Orange and bamboo salad with fennel dressing.

Want the very freshest? Learn how to grow, harvest and prepare your own bamboo shoots. It's easier than you might think.


Bamboo shoots
Image courtesy UF/IFAS document #HS548,
copyright 1994, 2003

Cooking with bamboo utensils - Beautiful gifts for the the cooks in your life

If you haven't held a bamboo cutting board or utensil in your hand, you haven't felt the silky smooth finish. You must! It's a pleasure to work with this material. Below are some of the bamboo tools we enjoy in our kitchen, or that are on our wishlist. Cooking is sweeter with tools crafted of sustainable materials like bamboo. Let me know if you try them, will you?

Pinzon Santoku Knives and Bamboo Cutting Board Set
Pinzon Santoku Knives and Bamboo Cutting Board Set

Two beautiful Japanese santoku knives come with this cutting board, stored in their own special drawer. One of the nicest features of these knives: The little hollows on either side of the blade that create just enough air pocket to let slices fall away. Ever had cucumber slices slow you down when they stick to the edge of the knife? That's what these knives prevent. This set is the one I'd like to own.

MIU France Bamboo Cutting and Serving Board, 6" x 15"
MIU France Bamboo Cutting and Serving Board, 6" x 15"

When our ancient hardrock maple board splintered along its glue lines, we replaced it with one of these handsome bamboo cutting boards. Just the right size for slicing bread, making sandwiches, and trimming veggies. Bamboo is actually harder than maple wood.


How to harvest, buy and cook fresh bamboo - Start to finish

Bamboo farmer and expert, Daphne Lewis, has a lovely web site with lots of picture tutorials on growing, harvesting, cleaning and cooking bamboo. Her site includes tips for you and me on picking the freshest shoots at the farmers market, as well as best marketing practices if you are one of the farmers.

You may be especially interested in the following web pages from her site.

How to prepare and cook raw bamboo shoots - Traditional cooking method

Freshly harvested bamboo is said to have far superior flavor to canned bamboo shoots. If you are a foodie or purist, learn how to cook fresh bamboo shoots in this short video.

Bamboo is habitat and food for some of the most beautiful wild animals on the planet

Before you buy a bamboo product - Make sure the bamboo was grown on sustainable plantations

Giant panda eating - a morgueFile free photo
Giant panda eating - a morgueFile free photo

Giant panda eating bamboo
a morgueFile Free Photo

Sustainable as it is, using bamboo does not mean we are off the hook environmentally. Bamboo is the major food for endangered pandas, bamboo lemurs, and mountain gorillas, whose habitat shrinks daily.

Civilization increasingly encroaches on bamboo forests and plantations. Make sure the bamboo products you purchase are from sustainable plantations that do not destroy habitat or endanger other species.

Save the panda, the lemur and the mountain gorilla! Buy responsibly.

Protect their future: Adopt a panda - Courtesy World Wildlife Fund
Protect their future: Adopt a panda - Courtesy World Wildlife Fund

Adopt a panda through World Wildlife Federation (WWF)

For over four decades the Panda logo has been a recognizable symbol of WWF and its efforts in wildlife and habitat conservation. These shy, lovable creatures are found only in remote areas of the Upper Yangtze forests, where they feed on bamboo shoots. A newborn cub is about the size of a stick of butter, weighs only three to five ounces, and is totally dependent upon its mother for the first few months of life.

Image and text courtesy

WWF Adopt a Panda

Must have this adorable mother and baby panda poster

Panda Bears (Mother and Cub) Art Poster Print - 24x36 Poster Print, 36x24 Poster Print, 36x24
Panda Bears (Mother and Cub) Art Poster Print - 24x36 Poster Print, 36x24 Poster Print, 36x24

Let this evocative image of a mother gently nuzzling her baby panda set the tone in your child's playroom, nursery or your classroom. Perfect companion to the adopt-a-panda program and the Wild about bamboo panda book.


The Panda: Wild About Bamboo

Learn more about pandas and their relationship with the plant that provides their home and their food--beautiful images show better than words can tell.

National Geographic Readers: Level 2 - Pandas
National Geographic Readers: Level 2 - Pandas

This beautifully illustrated National Geographic Reader about Pandas is just right for the child learning to read independently. A wonderful stocking stuffer for those thinking ahead to the holidays.


Gorillas rely on bamboo forest habitat as well - Watch a silverback gorilla eating Bamboo

The great gorilla seems to know he is being watched. He turns his back on us, hunkers down and hides the bamboo stalk he is munching.

More fun, useful, intriguing and sometimes downright strange facts and bamboo objects

Bamboo and the 100-year rat famine

Bamboo fruits attract hordes of rats in India

Bamboo plants bloom rarely, and when they do, the entire species usually blooms at the same time and dies, worldwide. Many species bloom just once a century, or less. Some species bloom as frequently as every 48-49 years.

Right now, in India, rats are gobbling up the high protein fruits of vast forests of a bamboo species that blooms every 48 years. The rich diet kicks the rats' reproductive cycle into high gear and they multiply like Tribbles.

Once they've consumed the last of the bamboo fruit, their highly inflated population begins gorging on crops, devouring every living plant in sight. People die of starvation. This is called the rat famine.

Bamboo, which can live to be 120 years old, dies upon flowering. Entire forests can vanish in a season. Thankfully, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on earth. Some species can grow up to 4 feet a day, so once the seeds germinate, a new forest crops up pretty fast.

Image courtesy Free Nature Pictures

Bamboo scaffolding - Image courtesy Bamboo Village
Bamboo scaffolding - Image courtesy Bamboo Village

The bamboo high-rise

Building highrises with bamboo scaffolding

If you keep up with trends, you've seen items made of bamboo wherever you shop. You may already own a buttery-almond-colored cutting board. Maybe you own a tee-shirt or a pair of bamboo socks. But did you know that in some countries, engineers use this strong material for the scaffolding when building highrises?


Image courtesy Bamboo Village

From high rise scaffolding to doll-house - Bamboo is child's play

Isn't this solar-powered, bamboo dollhouse the perfect toy for teaching your child about ways we can all conserve for the future?

I'm a sucker for doll houses and this one nearly sends me into palpitations. It has a working rooftop solar panel to power the batteries that spark the LED lights! Plus, the floors are made of trendy bamboo, just like the newest homes today. It's on my Amazon wish list--the perfect toy for our granddaughters (no grandsons--yet).

Hape Bamboo Sunshine Dollhouse - Fully Furnished
Hape Bamboo Sunshine Dollhouse - Fully Furnished

What child doesn't love a dollhouse and its miniatures? This one comes with LED lighting, gorgeous furnishings, and a family to enjoy it all. Spend some quality time with your children and help them to discover the wonders of the amazing bamboo plant family while playing with this beautiful bamboo and birch doll house.


One billion people live in real bamboo houses - Bamboo buildings are both durable and functional

Bamboo tree house - a morgueFile free photo
Bamboo tree house - a morgueFile free photo

Bamboo tree house
a morgueFile Free Photo

Bamboo is the home-building material of choice across the banana belt. Bamboo Village Hawaii estimates that a billion people live in bamboo houses today. Take a look at this four-story, nineteenth century building still standing, solid-looking and beautiful. (Second image on that page.)

One reason bamboo is so popular as a building material is that some species are stronger than steel. Another is that bamboo is plentiful, and if managed well, plantations can be grown and harvested repeatedly for many years. Plus, bamboo gives back to the environment by cleaning the air and saving valuable soil from wind and water erosion.

A sixty-foot tree cut for market takes 60 years to replace. A sixty-foot bamboo cut for market takes 59 days to replace.

Bamboo Village Hawaii quoting INBAR

Buy sustainably - Give sustainably all year long

It is easy to find bamboo treasures for the home

Light up your life with the warmth of bamboo. From cutting boards to knitting needles, and lamps to waste baskets, bamboo-made furnishings and tools seem to glow from within. Try them. Give them to your friends and family for birthdays, holidays. Celebrate weddings and housewarmings with them. Bamboo is always a hit. I'll be surprised if you don't come back for more.

Whenever possible, to assure your treasures were made in safe conditions and the workers were compensated fairly, buy organic and Fair Trade.

Imagine your feet on warm, naturally beautiful bamboo - Ditch that warped, cracked chair mat!

Replace it with this gorgeous bamboo mat and enjoy building your Squidoo lenses more than ever.

Anji Mountain Bamboo Chairmat & Rug Co. 36-Inch-by-48-Inch Roll-Up Bamboo Chairmat, Natural
Anji Mountain Bamboo Chairmat & Rug Co. 36-Inch-by-48-Inch Roll-Up Bamboo Chairmat, Natural

Replace your cracking, worn-out plastic chair mat with this handsome, natural-finish bamboo mat made from sustainably-harvested bamboo. Simply beautiful. That's bamboo.


Gifts for the home - Bamboo shades and light fixtures - Brighten their rooms with lights softened under earthy bamboo shades

Nova 11681 Rift Reclining Table Lamp, Bamboo with White Linen Shade
Nova 11681 Rift Reclining Table Lamp, Bamboo with White Linen Shade

Illuminate your living space stylishly with the simple elegance of this bamboo and linen lamp. In addition to the silken light from the shade, a subtle glow flows from the open slats of the bamboo base.


Hot sites - Everything you want to know about bamboo

The list of ways we humans use bamboo seem endless. Here are a few of my favorite sites--of thousands out there--that are packed with information on the uses, people and creatures who depend on the "miracle plant."

The short descriptions give you a peek at what you'll get if you click through. I hope you enjoy exploring this amazing plant, its varied, graceful beauty and uses as much as I do.

Bamboo clothing and textiles rock--or do they?

Look for Fair Trade and organic whenever possible.

How green is your bamboo?


In Digging up bamboo's dark side, Journalist and self-described ecoholic Adria Vasil steps back for a look at questions we all need to ask when we buy bamboo products. Another helpful article, before you buy clothing or bedding made of bamboo fibers, including items on this lens, is Bamboo: Facts behind the fiber.

Don't stop there, though. Dip deeper into the pros and cons of using bamboo fibers with this hip article from trendy Little Green Rock. Surfers-come-entrepreneurs, they're purveyors of bamboo tees, togs and other beach duds, but that's not all. They make skateboards of bamboo, too.

The use of bamboo textiles is growing, and there is much to learn. If you have information about these important issues, please leave a comment below or use the contact button at the top of this page.

Bamboo baby - Cuddly bamboo gifties for your wee one

Bamboo textiles are naturally antimicrobial and their unique cellular construction wicks moisture away from your baby's skin

DreamSacks BambooDreams Baby Long Sleeve Tee
DreamSacks BambooDreams Baby Long Sleeve Tee

Dreamsacks BambooDreams Baby long sleeve tee is pesticide free and made from a sustainable and renewable resource. Keep your child stylish and comfy. Match the baby shirt with the baby pants.

Midori 3 Piece Organic Basic Gift Set, Espresso
Midori 3 Piece Organic Basic Gift Set, Espresso

This Basic Midori Bamboo Gift Set is an affordable luxury that every newborn baby needs. This 3 piece gift set includes, a screenprint bodysuit sized -3 months, and a warm cozy cap that can be worn up to 6 month, and a terry bib. These items are made of a perfect blend of rayon from bamboo and organic cotton interlock. This gift set is packaged in our signature round re-usable bamboo box.

Baby Swaddling Blanket by Beba Bean, Pink
Baby Swaddling Blanket by Beba Bean, Pink

100% bamboo, No pesticides, Wicks moisture away from baby, Eco Friendly, UV protection, Antibacterial

Bummis Bamboozle Fitted Diaper (Single, Size 2, Large (10-35lbs))
Bummis Bamboozle Fitted Diaper (Single, Size 2, Large (10-35lbs))

A fitted diaper consisting of 4 layers of bamboo fabric that is fantastically soft and beautiful! You will fall in love with this gorgeous, silky fabric - it truly is irresistible! Bamboo is a miraculous and eco-friendly fibre. It is a renewable resource with a very short growth cycle and it is grown without fertilizers or pesticides. In short it is the perfect environmental choice for diapers!

Price: $18.99


Arbor Apparel Talks Bamboo, Eco Fashion, and New Line: LNTV

Arbor Apparel of Venice Beach, California, uses bamboo in its snow boards and in its beach fashions. Take a look.

The spotlight is on you. What do you like about bamboo and how do you use it? What is your favorite bamboo tool?

Do you bamboo?

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    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @TerriCarr: Yes, I never cease to be amazed at the things we can do with bamboo, and the fact it can be grown and harvested sustainably, with few chemical fertilizers or pesticides makes it all the more so.

    • TerriCarr profile image

      TerriCarr 4 years ago

      I love bamboo. I can't think of anything besides a bamboo vegetable steamer...which didn't come along on my last multi-state move. But I am astonished to learn how sustainable it is. I've seen bamboo socks (men's). I guess almost anything can be made with it. It is indeed a miracle plant.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @MarleMac: Thank you so much! I do love those simple bamboo fountains. Soothing and healing. Good luck finding a source of bamboo.

    • MarleMac profile image

      MarleMac 4 years ago from South Africa

      This is a GREAT lens! Love bamboo. Had a water fountain made from one in our Healing Centre. It was wonderful! Also used some as containers for my own candles. Would like to use it more...a friend has a stand of bamboo on his farm, maybe I can twist his arm to give me some again...

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @jmchaconne: Oh yes, I can see how bamboo would be a lovely texture and color addition in your landscape with those beautiful shrubs and trees. I'm going to check out your Wildwood Farm lens now.

    • jmchaconne profile image

      jmchaconne 4 years ago

      Hello Grace, thanks for stopping by! I found this lens and Love it. I've just constructed a water fall, with limited space, and bamboo will fit the Japanese garden motif I'm looking for, I thought trees were out of the question because of root's evading the parking lot and walk, but I learned about Japanese Dwarf trees. I wrote a lens about it called Wildwood Farm. I got a gorgeous Maple called 'Fireglow' and a weeping flowering cherry called 'Snow Fountain. Thanks for the idea the bamboo will fit nicely!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @anonymous: Thank you. I appreciate your taking the time to view and read it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      This really is an outstanding guide to Bamboo. Obviously, a lot of very hard work went into this lens.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @smine27: Yes it is. It has a warmth that seems always to bring a smile when we see it or touch it, don't you think?

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 4 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Being Japanese, I know how many things bamboo can be used for. It's used for so many things here. Bamboo chopsticks, fans, screen doors, floors, etc. Bamboo is strong and beautiful.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @TanoCalvenoa: Oh, thank you so much! Made my day.

    • rattie lm profile image

      rattie lm 4 years ago

      I'm wondering if you'd like some of my neighbour's bamboo which manages to thrive in my garden despite my efforts to discontinue its life with boiling water! It simply sulks for a while and sneaks up a few months later in another part of my garden, even travelling under our shed - grr!

      But seriously, I think bamboo is the answer to a prayer. Easy to grow, environmentally friendly, and wonderfully adaptable who could not give it a go?

    • profile image

      TanoCalvenoa 4 years ago

      What an incredible guide to bamboo! I'll have to show my wife, who loves bamboo and has grown it at home.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @rattie lm: Oh, I feel for you. Someone else's valuable landscape material is so often a weed when it invades the neighbor's garden.

      There are barriers available for containing the spreading type of bamboo. It may be that those would work. I recommend going to one of the major bamboo source links on this page and getting some expert advice on how to keep the invaders out while maintaining good neighborly relations.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @HSP Connections: Thank you so much! Like you, I love bamboo clothing--how soft it is, as well as the wicking properties, which not all rayons (bamboo clothing is usually rayon) possess.

    • HSP Connections profile image

      Peter Messerschmidt 4 years ago from Port Townsend, WA, USA

      I love bamboo products-- I have bamboo flooring in my office; we have bamboo bowls and cutting boards in the kitchen; of course we use bamboo as stakes in the garden. What I like most, though, is the clothing and textiles-- I have a few bamboo shirts and they are the softest thing EVER! And my wife found bamboo sheets online... and even though they were VERY expensive, we bought a pair... and we like them better than the premium Egyptian cotton sets we had. Very cool lens!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @PinkstonePictures: Oh, thank you so much for sharing those "snapshots" of the bamboo growing alongside your home. Lovely images. And thank you for visiting this page.

    • PinkstonePictures profile image

      PinkstonePictures 4 years ago from Miami Beach, FL

      What a pleasure to read, thank you. We're very lucky to have bamboo growing at the side of our apartment. I love the swish noise it makes in the wind and if it rains, it bows down then springs back up. We also have a small bamboo in the house. Love Bamboo :-)

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @Frischy: I recommend the Bamboo Finder link I posted with the photograph of Macy, the bamboo-loving dog. I realize that link is a little buried. I'll give it more prominence right away.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 4 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I never realized there were bamboo plants that would not spread and take over. I would love to grow some in strategic spots. It would solve a lot of problems! Where can I buy bamboo plants?

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 4 years ago from San Francisco

      @kmhrsn: Thank you. All is not lost. Above, I included a link to a bamboo finder, where you can find just the right bamboo for your needs, soil and climate. Clumping bamboos are much more containable, and there is likely one that is just right for your garden.

    • stick-man lm profile image

      stick-man lm 5 years ago

      It's a grass!? I always thought it was a type of tree!

    • kmhrsn profile image

      kmhrsn 4 years ago

      I love bamboo. I'm a little afraid of it taking over my landscape though. But it is such a graceful plant. I loved this article. So well written, informative, and lovely.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @Elyn MacInnis: So sorry you lost your bamboo stand. Should you decide to grow another patch, it's quite easy to start, and you may not need a lot of plants. You might try the link to the bamboo finder I provided on this page. it can help you find a variety that will work in your climate and garden.

      I would love to see some of your art using bamboo as a subject. Have you published a lens about it? Or another web page perhaps?

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @stick-man lm: Yup, bamboo is a grass.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      we have lots of bamboo in China, and it is used for many many things. My favorite use for bamboo is seeing it used for building scaffolding. Astounding. But as an artist, there is nothing lovelier than bamboo as a subject. we had some relatively hardy non- running clumping bamboo that grew for ten years in the garden but it died in a very cold winter a few years ago. Sigh.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @Ruthi: Ah, yes many varieties do. Think pandas and bamboo forests in China's mountains.

    • mrdata profile image

      mrdata 5 years ago

      Very constructive lens and I love Bamboo! Thanks!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      Bamboo is certainly natural beauty and functional in so many ways, as you have shown here in this article. I have friends in central Ohio (USA) who have a mini forest of bamboo in their back yard, Before meeting them I had no idea it would grow in cold climates.

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      Bartukas 5 years ago

      very informational

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      You're welcome. So glad you found the page!

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      suepogson 5 years ago

      I love the sound of bamboo and have the room to grow it. If I an just find some I'll give it a go. Thank you - and no, I had NO idea of its versatility!

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @Cari Kay 11: What a lovely comment! Thank you so much!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      I absolutely love bamboo and cannot believe how much you have put into this page. Very nicely done. Blessed!

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      We have a lot of bamboo plants and eat the bamboo shoots.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @VeronicaHaynes: It is uncommon to receive such a thoughtful response, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I especially appreciate your personal experience in Taiwan. Nothing illustrates the problems with buying responsibly like the on-the-ground knowledge you possess.

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      VeronicaHaynes 5 years ago

      Bamboo socks are some of the nicest I've ever had. Bamboo is also delicious. While in Taiwan, they used bamboo shoots for many of my favorite dishes. It's an incredibly versatile plant, but as you mentioned, its popularity can also lead to land being used irresponsibly and endangering the habitat and wildlife that depend on bamboo as a life source. The other issue is how bamboo can take over entire ecosystems, by growers who don't follow good practices. Some Taiwanese mountain farmers I met were not so keen about the mass spread of bamboo in their mountains, transforming the ecosystem that had been there for hundreds of years. Making sure bamboo products come from responsible sources is not always easy to do, but well worth it. I really appreciate your lens, a good overview.

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      dessertlover 5 years ago

      Neat lens! I learned a ton here!

    • kburns421 lm profile image

      kburns421 lm 5 years ago

      I didn't bamboo was so great! I always thought it was pretty, as a plant or as cookware, but I didn't know it had other uses and that it created more oxygen than other trees. Very interesting.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @Rosaquid: You're welcome. Fabrics made of bamboo fibers do feel wonderful on the skin, I agree.

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      Rosaquid 5 years ago

      My favorite sheets are bamboo. I love their softness and the idea that I am sleeping in an antimicrobial environment. Thanks for the great lens!

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 5 years ago

      Bamboo has a lot of uses. I love crafts and furniture made of bamboo.

    • MrMojo01 profile image

      MrMojo01 5 years ago

      Informative lens, I learned a lot!

    • Diva2Mom profile image

      Diva2Mom 5 years ago

      Love Bamboo! Nice lens! God bless.

    • ecogranny profile image

      Kathryn Grace 5 years ago from San Francisco

      @MarcStorm LM: You're welcome, and thanks for the kudos!

    • MarcStorm LM profile image

      MarcStorm LM 5 years ago

      I Love Bamboo! Great article showcasing the wonder & the uses! Thanks for that! Best Wishes!

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      EnjoyLens 5 years ago

      Great lens, nicely done. Thumbs up

    • Millionairemomma profile image

      Millionairemomma 5 years ago

      Don't you love bamboo floors? I love walking on them with my bare feet. What a lovely lens about bamboo.

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      TopFiveBestDeals 5 years ago

      Bamboo socks were my first encounter -- amazing! Great lens...

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      maraga 5 years ago

      very nice

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      Terrie_Schultz 5 years ago

      Bamboo is an amazing plant. We have bamboo floors in our house.

    • BestRatedStuff profile image

      BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

      Love bamboo, its beautiful, the sheen, the knots, the grace and the way it can sway when growing.

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      CorkFlooringTips 5 years ago

      I love bamboo a lot more people should be using it.

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      Auntie-M LM 6 years ago

      I do! and I love it. The first time I got a bamboo sweater I thought it was cashmere. Now I look for bamboo in everything.

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      Gloria Freeman 6 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I want to grow bamboo in my yard,to shade the west side of my house.but I know i must find the clumping kind or my yard will be a bamboo forest I do not wont that.

    • victoriuh profile image

      victoriuh 6 years ago

      I grew up on a small farm and we had some bamboo planted. It was pretty amazing and very beautiful.

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 6 years ago from Shanghai, China

      I like bamboo a lot, and like to take photos of it every time I get the chance. I live in China, so I get to see a lot of bamboo. It is considered the plant of scholars here, since it is straight, and has a very strong character.

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      SteveKaye 6 years ago

      Yes, I like bamboo. We have sheets made out of bamboo fibers, which are very soft, dry, and comfortable.

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      missyjanette 6 years ago


    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      Stopping back by to enjoy this once more. My previous blessing wasn't showing up, so I'm here to renew it. Bamboo has to be the most versatile grass ever to grow on this planet. I even saw a plan yesterday for using bamboo to build a geodesic greenhouse. Wouldn't that be something? Thanks once again for expanding awareness about the phenomenon known as bamboo. I would love to build a home that is primarily constructed with bamboo. Perhaps I will!

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      simon1234bunny 6 years ago

      great idea keep it up!

    • MindPowerProofs1 profile image

      MindPowerProofs1 6 years ago

      I love using bamboo as a screen to hide the old fence. Thanks for the advices.Great lense

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      InnovativeToys 6 years ago

      I especially love all the new bamboo items for the kitchen, including the textiles made from bamboo. Thanks for this great lens!

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      BestLaminateInc1 6 years ago

      I didn't know that bamboo could be used for clothing! Great lens!

    • Aquavel profile image

      Aquavel 6 years ago

      Love, love, love the look of bamboo. And now I have bamboo towels and a bamboo robe. They are the softest, most luxuriant...... I didn't know bamboo was easy to grow and that it was found in all climates. I'm going to look into it and see if we can grow it in Northern California. Thanks for the great lens!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      great job on your lens!

      It`s realy intresting and so much fun to read it :) thnx

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Wow! One always learns something cool on Squidoo. I never knew bamboo could be used as scaffolding! The trellis looks pretty neat, too.

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      JustOneGuy 6 years ago

      Man, you really worked hard on this lens and did a great job. I am humbled.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      Nice lens! when we lived in California we had Heavenly Bamboo for husbands family brought bamboo from Hawaii many years ago and it grew into a forest in their backyards, very invasive...I'm glad that they use bamboo for many things now.

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      Light-Life-Energy 6 years ago

      after years of being away from this hobby, I've started clearing our 'back 40' and intend to make a combo garden - fruits, veges, flowers, meditation & bamboo. thanks for all the tips!

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      good lens... with gr8 info

    • mary lighthouse15 profile image

      mary lighthouse15 6 years ago

      We grow bamboo in my country. There are lots of produce we can make out of it, usually export it to other countries. This has been a great lens!

    • cdevries profile image

      cdevries 6 years ago

      I love bamboo in a garden - instant privacy and view control, plus that lovely wind-chime-like sound.

    • sidther lm profile image

      sidther lm 6 years ago

      I love that Bamboo is so sustainable! We have been saving up for bamboo flooring for a while now... almost there! I hadn't thought about trying to grow my own as well, but I really think I should. Thank you so much, this was great!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      I have to confess, I learn a lot from this lens.


    • bechand profile image

      bechand 6 years ago

      you have so many great holistic hobbies and interests.

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      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      @ecogranny: Sorry that it took me so long to return. Our landlord said that we can use as much as we want, so I built a garden out of it which I documented in my "No dig garden" lens. We have also given away some to friends who have used it for fencing their garden to keep their chooks out. Bamboo is so awesome, it grows so fast and new shoots keep popping up all the time.

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      seanjennin 6 years ago

      great lense, thanks

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      amazing what you can use bamboo for, thank you for the bamboo 101 lesson, I'll share this with others, see you around!

    • dolphinstar lm profile image

      dolphinstar lm 6 years ago

      I am growing some bamboo so I might look into eating some

    • deckdesign profile image

      deckdesign 6 years ago

      We have several bamboo plants in our garden and we also have a few utensils and other household items that are made from bamboo.

      Thanks for the information in this lens. I now have more ideas where I can buy bamboo products.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Yes, we bamboo here at home. It's the RIGHT choice. :)

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      grainne 6 years ago

      Bamboo is a fast growing grass. If you are religious, then for you bamboo is a sign of prosperity. The main feature of bamboo is it doesn't need so much care like other plants. You can plant bamboo in your garden and they are straight so you never bother to clean your garden says- Garden Design London.

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      Kilroy 6 years ago

      @modernchakra: Since you're bookmarking you may want to bookmark my buddy, they sell quality bamboo fence and other fencing products.

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      Angela F 6 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Two things I didn't know about bamboo: It survived Hiroshima. It makes an adorable dollhouse (I want one of those.) Great lens!

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      MintySea 6 years ago

      I want bamboo :-) sheets

    • Amoonlighter2011 profile image

      Amoonlighter2011 6 years ago

      I like my bamboo sheets

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      KarenCookieJar 6 years ago

      I was surprised when I heard you could make fabric out of bamboo. Very cool.

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      Mary Norton 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We have a winter get away made of bamboo and it is really beautiful. The towels made from bamboo are the most absorbent I have ever used.

    • MsBrightside LM profile image

      MsBrightside LM 6 years ago

      I love it -- from kitchen tools to bathroom towels to socks, I am a bamboo fan. :) Great lens.

    • marianne sequeira profile image

      marianne sequeira 6 years ago

      Bamboo makes great fences and the tender shoots taste lovely.... nice lens

    • modernchakra profile image

      modernchakra 6 years ago

      Bookmarked and saved for when I buy a bamboo mat for my office. Great stuff again Graceonline, not a surprise this was LOTD. Thanks.

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      mistersquidoo_here 6 years ago

      there is a lot of bamboo in my hometown..we call it "bulu"...thanks for this lens

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Whew, I sure learned about bamboo here! Bamboo seems to be the perfect plant for so many uses and benefits that is is for sure the eco-wonder of the world...and is associated with good luck and harmony!

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      adamfrench 6 years ago

      Impressive lens, thumbs up

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      NevermoreShirts 6 years ago

      I love bamboo - so attractive!

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      I learned a lot about bamboo that I didn't know. Blessed by the green living angel.

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      GottaGreenBuzz 6 years ago

      Wow, loved this lens...been enjoying many I've seen from you. I'd love to use bamboo more! Thanks for adding to our day. :)

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Thank you for sharing so many helpful tips! We love Bamboo, in particular for it's hardiness and sustainability. Keep up the great work :)

    • Harshitha LM profile image

      Harshitha LM 6 years ago

      Loved your lens. Did not know bamboo could be used in so many wonderful ways.