Bamboo, which is indigenous to China, is an evergreen in every sense of the word. Unlike other trees, bamboo lives on after its culms have been cut down because of the speed at which it can regenerate. The roots of the plant remain intact underground, and very soon thereafter, the bamboo plant is once again resplendent. This is just as well, because in China, the giant pandas can consume up to 85 pounds of bamboo daily. Bamboo is an easygoing plant to cultivate, and makes a great gift for the same reason.
Bamboo can complement many gardens, and it is increasingly popular for use as windbreaks and living fences. An interesting variety is the tropical blue bamboo known as Emperor's Blue Bamboo and White Bamboo (Bambusa chungii). This variety has thin-walled culms that give the plant a pale blue appearance. The emperor bamboo can grow up to 30 feet tall, with culms about 2 inches in diameter.
Another variety is Oldham's Bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii) which is a classic tropical bamboo often found at Disney parks in the United States. It features upright culms and some gardeners will be happy to know that its shoots are edible. Oldham's Bamboo can grow to a height of 55 feet. This particular variety of bamboo requires a minimum temperature of 20 degrees F to thrive.
Both these varieties of bamboo are available at Tropicalbamboo.com.
Although "Lucky Bamboo" is a popular gift choice, and available for sale in many nurseries and Chinese supermarkets, it is actually a member of the Dracaena or lily family. According to Chinese tradition, the lucky bamboo plant is very auspicious. It is a popular gift for birthdays, housewarmings and other special occasions, even though technically it is not actually bamboo.
Braided bamboo plants like those at Windandweather.com, come with special containers and pebbles for easy assembly. All you add is water. For example, there is a 20-inch tall, Pear Shaped Braided Bamboo Plant in a 6-inch-square ceramic container that would certainly be a great conversation piece.
There is also a 25-inch Braided Trellis Bamboo plant, a graceful miniature tree in a clear glass 9-1/2-inch pot. These are just two items from a wide variety of bamboo plants that make lovely gifts. However, note that braided plants do require regular attention to maintain the braided effect.
For someone who enjoys the look of bamboo, but doesn't have time to care for plants, consider a gift such as a silk bamboo tree from Nearlynatural.com. There is a 3-foot Multi Bambosa Bamboo Tree with a natural trunk from which spring 500 green leaves. This tree sits in a black planter.
There is also a 6-foot Bamboo Japonica Silk Tree with 12 natural bamboo trunk stems and over 3,000 grass-like leaves. It too comes in a black planter.
Silk trees provide the beauty of bamboo without requiring any care or attention except for the occasional dusting.