Bamboo is the term used to identify a group of plants of the family of grasses that counts about 1400 species and 100 genera, fast growing, similar to other grasses such as rice, maize, wheat etc.; there are different types of bamboo, from tropical to those that are well suited to temperate and cold climates.
The bamboo is native to the tropical and sub-tropical regions mostly of the Far East, we find spontaneous species also in Africa, Oceania and America, but the bamboo is naturally found also in temperate zones, at latitudes from 46° N to 47° S, from sea level up to 4000 meters of altitude.
Bamboo are shrubby, evergreen, very vigorous plants, their height can vary from a few centimeters up to 40 meters and the diameter can reach the 30 cm. Variegated and wide is also the range of shapes and colors: yellow, black, striped, climbing and even thorny.
Bamboo has remarkable characteristics:
- high carbon dioxide absorption: a bamboo forest is able to capture up to 17 tons of carbon per hectare per year thanks to the remarkable and perennial leaf area;
- strong ability to combat air and soil pollution: with its roots bamboo transforms pollutants (including nitrogen) into biomass;
- resistance to the attack of usual diseases for other grasses, therefore the plant does not need special care and attention;
- ability to maintain clean water in rivers and lakes: bamboo is an economically and ecologically sustainable strategy for the management of organic animal waste;
- ideal for consolidation and reforestation of slopes, prevent landslides thanks to the root system formed by rhizomes and rootlets that does not weigh the ground with concentrated loads;
- excellent capacity to retain water, thanks to which prevents the runoff of the soil thus avoiding, in case of heavy rains, dangerous swelling of streams and rivers. This capacity serves the same plant to withstand any longer or shorter periods of drought;
- fire resistance: in the green state it is hardly combustible and even if it burns its aerial part and its rhizomatous character guarantees it the ability to regenerate however new reeds every year;
- excellent natural barrier against dust, windbreak and noise.