Characteristics of Bamboo

Geographical distribution

Bamboo in all its varieties constitutes one of the most extensive and important botanical families for man, with thousands of uses and applications described in different cultures. They are the only group of grasses adapted to create forests and demonstrate enormous adaptability to different soils and environments.
They are naturally present in a wide geographical distribution covering mainly three major regions; much of the Americas, sub-Saharan Africa and a large area of Asia.

Fossils of bamboo leaves and pollen can be found in Europe, but no species endemic to this continent remain today.

Growing and collect

Some species of Bamboo are the fastest growing plants on the planet, varieties such as Guadua or Moso, can reach 25 cm per day in the growing stage, but there are records of other species with more than 1 m. per day.

In just 6 months the plant reaches its final height, from 18 to 30 m, and in the following years the woody structure of the canes develops and they will finish maturing.

This is one of the great advantages of using some varieties of this giant grass against the intensive use of trees, and is that in just 4 years it will be ready for cutting and use as a structural material.


Bamboo Carbon Footprint

Among the many environmental advantages that the use of bamboos implies, the fact that its forests are one of the largest collectors of environmental CO2 on the planet stands out. Species such as the bamboo can fix more than 100 tons per hectare in each life cycle.

Comparison of environmental characteristics Bamboo/Conifers


CO2 Fixation

9 ton/ha/y0%

Age for structural use

4/6 years0%

Biomass Production

90 ton/ha/y0%

Conifers (Pine)

CO2 Fixation

3,5 ton/ha/y0%

Age for structural use

15/25 years0%

Biomass Production

11 ton/ha/y0%

Bibliographic references:

– Gernot Minke, (2010), Manual de Construcción con Bambú

– Oscar Hidalgo López, (2003), Bamboo, the gift of Gods

– Oscar Hidalgo López, (1978), Nuevas técnicas de construcción con bambú

– Arce, (1993) Fundamentals of the design of bamboo structures – Tesis doctoral Eindhoven University of technology

Bambú on the net

– International Network of Bamboo and Rattan –

– Bamboo Arts & Craft Network –

– European bamboo society –

– American bamboo society –

Sociedad Colombiana de Bambú –