although bamboo is really a kind of grass, it looks more like tree a beautiful tree. it has long leaves that sway in the wind like slim fingers reaching to touch something. chinese and japanese poets write poems and songs about bamboo, the artists paint it in pictures.
not all bamboo grows tall. altogether there are more than 500 different kinds of bamboo, and some grow no higher them your ankles. bamboo grows best in places where it is warm and where it rains often. some kinds of bamboo grow very fast. if they are growing near a house, their slim leaves brush the roof gently and cool the house with their shade.
some bloom and have seeds every year. some never bloom at all. some bloom only once, after living about 40 years, and then die. however, new shoots of bamboo will come up from around the roots of the old ones.
but the most interesting about this remarkable plant is what people do with it after it is cut down. as bamboo is hollow, it can be fitted together and used for pipes to carry water. at the same time it is so strong that people use it to build houses, and even high bridges over rivers. bamboo is used for more then building. people can eat it. the tender young shoots of hamboo are crisp and tasty. they are often found in chinese or japanese dishes. bamboo can also be made into a fine paper, good walking sticks and fishing poles.
bamboo probably has more uses than any other plant in the world.