Is Bamboo A Tree Or Grass?

5,158 Views Updated: 24 Feb 2018
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Is Bamboo A Tree Or Grass?

There are two kinds of people around, the ones who refer to bamboo as a plant and the ones who refer to it as a tree. Well, bamboo, which is famously known for its elongated hollow stems, is a common sight in the households. People even go on to use it for building fences around their house.

However, despite its common and popular usage, many are still confused about the category in which bamboo falls. To make things clear below is an insight on the flux if bamboo is a tree or grass.

is bamboo a tree or grass

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Is Bamboo A Tree Or Grass?

With its impeccable height of up to 100 ft., bamboo is often mistaken as a tree. At times, some species of bamboo are even brought into the market as bamboo trees.

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However, surprisingly, bamboo is actually a grass and is one of the fastest growing of its kind. Belonging to the Poaceae, a family of grass plants, bamboos are quite popular as garden plants as well.

It is only due to the popular misrepresentations and misconceptions that many avoid going into the details of the magnificent plant and categorize it differently.

bamboo tree or grass

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We would love to hear from you. Did you also have the misconception of bamboo being a tree? Kindly use the comment box to share your thoughts and opinions with us.

Answers (3)

Bamboo (Bambuseae) is a member of the Poaceae plant family, a family of grass plants. Bamboo is a fast-growing plant and its shoots are often harvested and used for culinary purposes. Extracts from bamboo plants are used in Chinese medicine.

     All kinds of bamboo have smooth hard and strong trunks. The rate of their growth is very fast and some can grow up to 40 centimeters in a day. There is a kind of bamboo that was found to grow 90 centimeters 24 hours. Some varieties of bamboo blossom once in 30 years other May take about 100 years to blossom. A bamboo dies after it blooms. The seeds from these blossoms grow into new plants.

     Bamboo is a very useful grass. It has a variety of uses. The stem of the bamboo is widely used in the construction of roofs, huts, walls, houses etc. it is also used to make mats baskets musical pipes paper fishing rods and weapons for self-defense. Young bamboo shoots are cooked as a vegetable and pickle is also made of them; some medicines are also made from a fluid obtained from the stem joints of bamboo branches. Its hollowed stems are used as water pipes especially in Japan.


Till I read this article even I thought that bamboo was a tree. I asked a few more people “Is bamboo a tree"?”Is bamboo a grass”? Everyone got baffled with my questions. One person asked me “Is bamboo a herb”? The majority of them believed the same. Only one out of them knew that bamboo is actually grass. The word bamboo comes from the Kannada term bamboo.
 The bamboos belong to the grass family of Poaceae. Bamboos like other grasses have hollow stems. Bamboos are the fastest growing plants in the world. Some species of bamboo can grow 91 cm within 24-hour period, at a rate of 4 cm an hour. They reach their full height in a growing season of three to four months. A bamboo can live without water for around three to four years. This fact made me question again’ “Is bamboo a grass”?
 Bamboos grow largely in warm, moist tropical and warm temperate climates. Some species also grow in hot tropical and cool mountainous regions. China, Japan, Korea, India, and Australia are home to several endemic species of bamboo.
Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboos are not only longest and fastest growing but they have multiple utilities as well. Bamboos are used for building materials, as food source and as a raw product. It is of economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. Soft bamboo shoots, stems and leaves are the major food source of the giant panda of China, the red panda of Nepal, and the bamboo lemurs of the Madagascar. Mountain gorillas of Africa feed on the bamboo sap which was fermented and alcoholic.
Bamboos unpredictably flower and the flowering depends on species to species. A bamboo plant dies once the flowering takes place. Many species only flower after 65 or 120 years later. Bamboo has a lot of properties which makes it a durable and impressive plant. The bamboo has a greater compressive strength than wood, brick, and concrete. Therefore, it is used as building material.  I have the answer to the question “Is bamboo a tree or grass”?


bamboo is a herb which is rare and the tallest form of a grass. Really bamboo is a grass, one can't believe but its a biological fact. It's always a botanical question "is bamboo a tree or a grass" and the answer is yes, bamboo is a grass.

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