Green leaves grow sideways out of sturdy trunks with a broad crown at the top. Sadly there are no adorable giant pandas to come and nibble on your brand-new houseplant, but cats will happily use the trunk as a scratching post. Hello bamboo!
Colours and shapes
There are lots of bamboo species. For example, you can use Bambusa vulgare in the living room. This species can be identified by the golden yellow smooth trunk with matching yellow canes on which the elongated shiny bamboo leaves grow. Giant bamboo can grow a metre a day in the wild, but luckily it doesn’t shoot up at quite that pace in your home.
Bamboo is synonymous with East Asia. It’s not just giant pandas that are mad about it - bamboo also plays an important role in art. It’s used as a motif to symbolise modesty, durability, courage and endurance. Flowering bamboo is perceived to be a bad omen, and it is therefore never depicted in bloom, because when bamboo flowers it will usually die soon afterwards.
A lot of bamboo is native to China. But in addition to China, bamboo can be found on every continent apart from Europe. It’s a versatile plant that can grow at both sea level and heights of 3000 to 4000 metres, in both hot and very cold regions. There are a total of around 500 species, divided across more than 60 genuses. There’s an enormous choice on offer!