A Japanese bamboo forest


Bamboo is a type of grass and is among the fastest growing plants on the planet. One Japanese species rockets skywards at a rate of a metre a day. Some bamboos can reach a lofty 35 metres in height while others are only half a metre tall. They flower en-mass, the whole population coming into bloom simultaneously. This doesn't happen every year and it may occur just once a century. Bamboo is famous as the major food source of iconic animals such as the giant panda, red panda and Madagascar's bamboo lemur. It is also economically important to humans as a building material and as food. There are 1,500 different species of bamboo, occurring naturally in every continent except Europe and Antarctica.

Scientific name: Bambuseae

Rank: Tribe

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The Bamboo can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Asia, Australia, China, Himalayas, Indian subcontinent, Madagascar, North America, Russia, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.


The following habitats are found across the Bamboo distribution range. Find out more about these environments, what it takes to live there and what else inhabits them.


Discover what these behaviours are and how different plants and animals use them.

Additional data source: Animal Diversity Web

BBC News about Bamboo