Botanists describe bamboo as a woody perennial type of grass---a plant that has more than 1,500 species around the world. Bamboo typically grows in the tropical regions of the world, where it is among the most useful of all plants on earth.
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The bamboo plant can be used as a food source because the shoots are edible. Bamboo is also an important building material, used in regions where timber is in short supply to make everything from houses to bridges.
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The giant panda, a bear that lives in the mountainous regions of China, depends almost solely on bamboo as a food source. It will eat as much as 85 pounds of bamboo in a day, digesting just 20 percent of the plants it devours.
About this Author
John Lindell has written articles for "The Greyhound Review" and various other online publications. A Connecticut native, his work specializes in sports, fishing and nature. Lindell worked in greyhound racing for 25 years.