The enchanting and high rising culms of bamboo are basically an assemblage of truly woody perennial evergreen grass belonging to the family Poaceae. These new age fast growing grasses are found growing extensively in varied climates stretching from the cold Himalayas along the sub-Saharan Africa to as far as Australia. Ithold distinctive place in the traditional East Asian culture. This is rightly assigned the status of ‘timber grass’. The aerial stems are the culms while the propagation takes place by underground creeping stem called rhizome. The huge Dendrocalamus giganteus finds wide use in constructing homes, temples besides other buildings and in cuisine.
Bamboo finds use in:
o Preparing foods such as soups, rice, tea, pickles, as condiment and country liquor in China.
o Has healing properties and is used to treat infections handmade weed pipes.
o The concoction obtained after boiling tender bamboo shoots is used to cure respiratory disorders. It is rich in silica and potassium.
o Bamboo shoots of the genus Phyllostachys endowed with adequate tenacity, are light and very durable and are most suitable for construction purposes, house wares as drawing room furniture, beds etc. For this it should be ensured that the shoots are several years old and not the first or second year old ones. In spite of being fully grown, younger shoots are not fit on account of being tender and prone to insect infection and to split.
o They find their use in making martial art weaponry, chopsticks, traditional opium smoking pipes, fishing rods, cages, baskets, musical instruments etc. Bamboo lays suitable platform on which decorative art work can be emblazoned.
o In the present times bamboo is being actively geared for modern day flooring following steaming, flattening, gluing and cutting and lay.
o The fiber of it was traditionally used to make hand made paper, mat spreads, yarn, and fabrics and to make spirit money in several Chinese communities. The fabric made from bamboo are worn by practitioners of martial arts, yoga etc.
o This has distinguishing symbolic value. The growing culms of ‘lucky bamboo’ signify longitivity, prosperity and good health actually belongs to species Dracaena sanderiana, family Liliaceae and is totally unrelated to true bamboo. This is characterized by the possession of hollow internodes. It is actively used in Feng- Shui and is marketing as the shoots to set in prosperity in the family. However onset of flowering, which coincidently is after every 50 years commemorates impending famine. The logic behind this is that rats eat on these flowers and actively reproduce and multiply and weed on the nearby fields.