Bamboo - The Most Important Renewable Resource On the Planet

Bamboo History & Origins


Bamboo, subfamily Bambusoideae, indigenous to China from prehistoric times. More than 400 species of bamboo, one third of all known species in the world, grow in China. In 2014 fragmented strips of Bamboo were found, dating back 2,200 years. There are between 1400 to 1600 species of Bamboo. 64% of those species grow in SE Asia. In the US, there are only 3 species that grow there naturally, Arundinaria gigantean, Arundinaria tecta and the most recently discovered Arundinaria appalachiana.

Types of Bamboo

There are two types of Bamboo, Running Bamboo and Clumping Bamboo. Running Bamboo extends its rhizomes outwards in a running fashion. Running Bamboo is usually considered invasive as it tends to be difficult to control, especially in small areas such as a backyard. Clumping Bamboo grows in clumps and the rhizomes tend to clump and are more controllable in the landscape. Running Bamboo tends to grow in temperate climates, while clumping Bamboo grows in more tropical climates. 

Running Bamboo
Clumping Bamboo

Most Bamboo grow between zones 4 through 11


Great Resource for Bamboo


Iowa State University Please visit Bamboo Biodiversity