Extremely popular as a decorative novelty, Lucky Bamboo is available in countless gift shops and garden centers. Lucky Bamboo flourishes in vases filled with water and requires indirect light, making it an ideal, low-maintenance indoor plant.
Most Lucky Bamboos are a uniform shade of medium green, though the leaves of some varieties have pale green or white stripes. Flowers, which are rarely produced in captivity, resemble sprays of delicate, white filaments.
Lucky Bamboo grows thick, segmented stalks that may be trained by retailers to twist in unique patterns or shapes. Shoots form on these stalks which sprout narrow, ribbon-like leaves seldom exceeding 12 inches in length.
The longevity of Lucky Bamboo depends largely on the care it is shown. When provided with pure water and kept out of direct sunlight, it can live for nearly a decade. Ordinarily, though, most Lucky Bamboo plants persist for one to five years.
Lucky Bamboo is native only to the tropical regions of western Africa, though it is often mistakenly said to originate in Asia.
Retailers of Lucky Bamboo advertise it as being prized in the ancient Chinese art of Feng Shui, though this claim has been challenged as little more than a clever marketing scheme.
Despite its name, Lucky Bamboo is not actually a type of bamboo at all. More closely related to agaves or lilies, Lucky Bamboo was probably misnamed because its segmented stalk is similar to those of true bamboos.