Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bamboo FAQ: Bamboo Plant Identification

Q: How do I Identify the Bamboo Growing in my Garden?

Bamboo is a notoriously difficult plant to identify. Most species of bamboo have similar characteristics, with only subtle differences distinguishing the various species. Certain bamboo types are easily distinguishable, such as Black Bamboo or Leopard Bamboo. These varieties have striking color features that make them easy to identify.

You can start by checking out the American Bamboo Society Source List. This source list contains nearly all common bamboo species in the United States. Overall, there are over 1,000 species and 91 genera of bamboo throughout the world. The classification of bamboo falls under the following hierarchy:

KINGDOM: Plantae
DIVISION: Magnoliophyta

CLASS: Liliopsida

SUBCLASS: Commelinidae

ORDER: Cyperales

FAMILY: Poaceae
SUBFAMILY: Bambusoideae

TRIBE: Bambuseae

SUBTRIBE: bambusina

Often times, the best way to indentify is to take the plant to an expert. Our friends at Jungle Supply Company in California are happy to identify bamboo for you. Just email them a picture and they will help you in the identification process.

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