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Bamboo

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Bamboo Cathedral

Chaguaramas

Bamboo is a member of the grass family, Poaceae and is the fastest growing plant in the world. Bamboo, like most grasses, spreads by rhizomes. Bamboo is separated primarily into two groups: Clumping and Running (spreading). Clumping bamboo have short rhizomes and will grow (or spread) just a few inches each growing season. Running bamboo have long rhizomes and can grow (or spread) several feet each growing season. Running bamboo can form dense forests as seen in the movie Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

When a bamboo shoot emerges from the soil, it is as large in diameter as it will ever be, unlike trees which develop larger trunks with age. When a young bamboo plant grows, it produces canes (culms) that are larger in diameter and taller in height each year -- if growing conditions are adequate. It will continue to develop bigger canes until it reaches its mature size. Bamboo shoots will grow to their maximum height within 2-4 months. If a bamboo cane is cut, it will not grow back. For example: you cut a bamboo cane to 6 feet high. It will not grow back at the point where it was cut, but it will develop more side branches and leaves below the cut. The side branches appear at the nodes, the swollen points along the length of the cane (or culm). Once a cane has matured, it will not grow taller or wider. Bamboo sets seeds (flowers) every 20 -120 years, depending on the variety, but the mother plant usually dies.

With a tensile strength superior to mild steel (withstands up to 52,000 pounds of pressure psi) and a weight-to-strength ratio surpassing that of graphite, bamboo is the strongest growing woody plant on earth. Its stands release 35% more oxygen than
equivalent stands of trees. Bamboo can also lower light intensity and protects against ultraviolet rays.

 

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Couva

 

 

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Lady Chancellor Road, Port of Spain

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Last modified: February 16, 2008