The Great Bamboo Affair

The origin of the word ‘Bamboo’ comes from the Malay word ‘Mambu’. Malay is the national language of Malaysia and Indonesia. In the late 16th century the Dutch named it ‘Bamboes’ after which it got it’s Neo-Latin name ‘Bambusa’. Some say that the original Malayan word was ‘Bambu’ which resembled the sound it makes when bamboo is heated and when it explodes in open fire. When bamboo is heated the air in the sealed hollow internode chambers expands and causes an explosive sound.

Is bamboo a tree or a grass?

Bamboo belongs to the Bambusoideae subfamily of the perennial evergreen grass family Poaceae(Graminae). It was a German botanist Charles Kunth who published his taxonomic findings in 1815. Of all grasses bamboo is the largest and the only one which can diversify into forest. Though bamboo is a grass, many of the larger woody bamboo species are very tree-like in appearance and are called ‘bamboo trees.’ Bamboos do not increase in diameter or height.

Where does bamboo grow?

Bamboos are found in 5 continents:-Africa, Asia, South America, North America, Australia. All continents except Antarctica and Europe have bamboo. Bamboos grow in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America. They also grow in northern Australia. Bamboo is found as a secondary vegetation in forests but at some places they are the dominant vegetation too. Bamboos can also tolerate extreme conditions that most plants can’t. Some of these species can grow from sea level to up to 4000 m in the Andes and Himalayas withstanding temperatures below -20 degree celsius.

Number of bamboo species?

There are altogether 1718 identified species in 128 different genera. Bamboo genera are groups of bamboo species strongly related or marked by common characteristics. About 100 species are used in commercial way out of which 20 are identified as priority species for bamboo plantation enthusiasts.

How fast does bamboo grow?

Bamboo is made of many different species which all have unique growth rates and features. If we say that bamboo grows 1 meter a day may not be correct as not all bamboo species grow that fast. So it becomes important to specify the species always. Though the world record for the fastest growing plant on earth is some bamboo species that grows up to 91 cm per day.

How tall does bamboo grow?

Herbaceous bamboos are generally small and resemble grass and are only a few centimeters tall, while woody bamboos can grow up to 30 m tall and 20 cm in diameter and so they are confused with trees. The bamboo species Dendrocalamus  Sinicus is considered the largest bamboo in the world reaching 40 m in height and 30cm in diameter.

One billion people live in bamboo houses. About 73% of the population in Bangladesh live in bamboo houses. Bamboo gives pillars, walls, window frames, rafters, room dividers, ceilings and roofs. It is also used to make a large variety of common household articles like furniture, mats, baskets, tool handles, hats, traditional toys, trays, bottles, jars, boxes, cases, bowls, fans, screens, curtains, lampshades and lanterns.

A unique example of bamboo’s resilience is the fact that it was the only plant that survived the radiation of the atomic bombings in Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.The heat destroyed all trees and other plant life  except for one bamboo grove.

Is lucky bamboo really bamboo?

The bamboo which is considered a popular ornamental house plant is believed to bring positive energy and prosperity who place it in the house or office is in fact not a bamboo at all.

Lucky bamboo which originated from the African continent is cultivated in China and Taiwan and is exported worldwide. Unlike real bamboos lucky bamboos grow very slow at about 10 cm annually. The stalks are usually sold when they are between 10 cm and 100 cm tall. The botanical name for Lucky Bamboo is Dracaena Braunii also known as Dracaena Sanderiana.

Each younger generation considers itself smarter and better than the one older than it in every possibility and aspects of life. They feel they are more in trend as they understand fashion and various titbits of life better and they feel they can command and operate it the best. This year everyone is pushing for sustainability in everything of life. And if we talk about home décor then the in-vogue thing is to find more creative, novel, and smart ideas and trends which can be applied to this field. And what better there can be to let it go green all the way. At the Pune Design Week, one of the most popular workshops was the Bamboo Makers Space on how bamboo was being innovated and used creatively in home décor products. Then there was the London Design Festival where a showcase called Bamboo Futures had Bali-based designer Elora Hardy and her team make sustainable bamboo buildings across the world. Then there were two guys, Nripal Adhikari and Lance Rake devise the concept of Habre Eco Bike made by local artisans using regional bamboo. This bike aims to give a green alternative as against gas-guzzling vehicles, reducing air-pollutants, and thus improving the quality of life drastically. Now a lot of sculpture artists are also working with bamboo. Bamboo is fast becoming the favorite material in home décor from bamboo chiks, photo frames, bookshelves to bamboo flowers, and bamboo used in spas and homes for healing. It is stealing the show adorning patios and gardens with bamboo planters and candle stands adding that unique look to the corners.

Bamboo rocks in interior design: Why and how to use bamboo in style?

The interior design industry is experiencing a huge demand for sustainable designs and is keen on using more and more of eco-friendly materials. People now search for sustainable designs that have a minimum amount of environmental impact. They want to deal in materials that are stylish, trendy, nature-friendly, and healthy.

Bamboo is a versatile plant and can adapt to any kind of weather conditions. The changes in it’s factors of growth like temperature, humidity, soil, and climates does not affect it’s growth. It’s rate of growth is high enough and it doesn’t require the use of fertilizers or pesticides. It is an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-pest plant.

Feng shui experts also believe that putting bamboo in homes enhances chances of good luck and wellbeing. Bamboo décor is extremely healing and lucky. According to Feng Shui, growing two bamboo sticks brings love, three stalks bring long life, eight stalks are for motivation, and nine bring fortune. Bamboo plants have the power to ward off negativity by attracting positivity from the surroundings and emitting tranquillity and peace. The plant absorbs the bad energies from the surroundings and makes the environment more pleasant and harmonious.

Take the stalk out for a walk

  1. Decorations with bamboo are a good way to divide the room into individual zones. They separate the room into equal zones, keeping the privacy intact yet not darkening the room.
  2. They can be used as lampshades. They are especially suitable for night lighting the lampshades directs the light in a certain area, privatizing its impact and providing likable comfort and tranquillity.
  3. They can be used as eco-friendly blinds. They have a very delicate appearance and these logs give the necessary privacy to the terrace or window areas.
  4. Bamboo is known to be the best hardwood as a durable flooring.
  5. It can be also used as accessories.
  6. Rattan furniture is quite in vogue and topping the popularity charts today. It is used in the interiors. And it has been given a fresh new twist by using it in trays, mirrors, baskets and chairs and sideboards.

When it comes to home design products that are sustainable, affordable, and truly good looking it’s definitely hard to beat bamboo. The fast-growing perennial grass is an abundant natural resource that is popular for design done with sensitivity to the environment. Bamboo is that one magical shoot that is going places ranging from headboards, chairs, and mirrors to window coverings, bowls, and sinks. It is also a popular flooring option. It has bagged the reputation as a ‘greener’ or a more sustainable alternative to hardwood and is considered almost as durable to laminate flooring. Bamboo is one of the most affordable green flooring options. It can be accommodated into a modern loft uptown to a traditional home in the suburbs. It can also be incorporated as bamboo flooring into high-traffic areas because the plant which is that strong having been used to build bridges, scaffolding, and homes throughout Asia can tolerate a lot of rough manhandling. It is endurable and eco friendly. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource compared to some other woods that can be grown without chemicals and woven into soft fabrics making it a popular choice for green linens including duvet covers, sheets, and towels.

Published by ambikajha

I am Ambika Jha.I like to write on different topics.I feel life is too short for anything.So let us work our best in the given time and let life's music be in rhythm and rhyme.So be your best and never stop to learn and write.

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