Bamboo

The ancient Chinese divided bamboos into two classes: the bitter and the tasteless.

Bamboo.

This plant has as many virtues as it has uses, the principal ones are modesty, protection from defilement, unchangeableness.

Bamboo  (Bambusa ) grows in the tropics of Asia, Africa and America. The plants are in reality merely gigantic grasses. The stems are hollow and contain only a light pith, but they are jointed and at the nodes strong partitions stretch across the inside. They grow in clumps, and may reach a height of one hundred and twenty feet and a thickness of ten inches. Some species flower only once, some every year, and others at longer intervals.

The Bamboo is noted for its great economic importance, and serves a variety of useful purposes. The young shoots of some species are cut when tender and eaten like asparagus; the seeds also are sometimes used as food, and for making beer; some species exude a saccharine juice at the nodes which is of domestic value.

The hard stems are converted into bows, arrows, quivers, lance-shafts, masts of vessels, bed-posts, walking-sticks, poles of palanquins, rustic bridges, bee-hives, water-pipes, gutters, furniture, ladders, domestic utensils and agricultural implements. Split up finely they afford a most durable material for weaving into mats, baskets, window-blinds, ropes and even sails of boats. Perhaps the greatest use to which they are put is in building, for in India, China, Japan, Assam, Malay, and other countries of the East, houses are frequently constructed solely of this material.