Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on Earth. In fact, the Chinese moso bamboo can grow almost a metre in a single day.
Bamboo grows in dense forests where little light reaches the ground and there is strong evolutionary pressure to reach the sunlight as quickly as possible.
Bamboo shoots are connected to their parent plant by an underground stem, called a rhizome. This means the shoot doesn’t need any leaves of its own, until it reaches full height. Bamboo also grows with constant diameter. Unlike woody plants, bamboo doesn’t waste energy on growth rings that progressively thicken the stalk. It’s just a single stick, growing straight up.
- Which living thing grows the fastest?
- Do plants grow better you sing to them?
- Which came first, the plant or the seed?
- When trees grow, where does the matter come from?
Asked by: Nibal Sawaf, Cardiff
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Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.