With well over 1400 species worldwide and many still being discovered, bamboo grows everywhere except for places with extremely cold climates. There is a bamboo that is indigenous to almost all continents. Bamboo can be found in hot tropical regions to mountain ranges over 14,000 feet (4300m). Some bamboo species grow towering heights up to 100' (30m) and some groundcover bamboos only reach a few inches. Certain species of bamboo can grow well over 3' (90cm) in one day. It is possible to actually watch bamboo grow.
The variation of color in the bamboo world can be very stunning. Bamboo can be found in solid colors of green, yellow, brown, black, red to hues of blue! There are bamboo species striped with green, yellow, pink, brown, black or even combinations. Some bamboo is even textured with large bulging nodes to vertical striations. Bamboo leaves are just as diversified with many tones of green to variegated patterns of white, yellow, cream or tints of blue! Leaf sizes can range from 1/4" (6.25mm) to 2' (60cm) in length.
Bamboo is the largest member of the grass family (yes, bamboo is technnically a grass), but a very tall grass with woody stems. The species of bamboo we know of today has evolved from prehistoric grasses almost 30 million years ago (as DNA evidence has dated), long after the extinction of dinosaurs.
In the Chinese culture, bamboo is a plant held in high regards and symbolic of many things.
"Bamboo bends with wind but will not break. The leaves blow gracefully in the wind and do not fall. Long after the storm passes it still stands green and tall. It survives and therefore it endures ..."
Bamboo symbolizes longevity because of it's durability, strength, flexibility and resilience. It grows and survives in the most unforgiving environments and still it endures ... standing tall and green year round. The graceful, soft rustling of the delicate leaves give an endearing song of peace, harmony and traquility. These are some of the most admirable virtues in life that humanity should follow to a long, happy, healthy, and prosperous life. Feng Shui practitioners recommend putting bamboo plants in the front of your home to assure long life for all those who dwell there.