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Bamboo Glossary

Auricle: an ear-shaped appendage that occurs at the upper part of the sheath. Size and prominence varies greatly among species.

Axis: refers to the bamboo plant as a whole, from which different components are distinguished. (i.e. culms, rhizomes).

Blade: the part of a leaf serves a photosynthetic purpose. Appearance varies among species, but usually green and flat.

Bud: an undeveloped or dormant shoot that can be located on stems, branches, culms, and rhizomes. Buds located on a rhizome can form shoots or new rhizomes. Buds located on a culm can produce new branches, leaves or flowers.

Cilia: small hairs bordering the auricle.

Caepitose: a growing behavior characterized as tightly grouped or clumped. Commonly used to describe pachymorph rhizome systems, or clumping bamboos.

Clumping: see sympodial or pachymorph.

Culm: the main stem of a grass plant that grows above ground. The culms of bamboo are large and woody, as compared to other grasses. Often referred to as "canes".

Culm Leaf (or Culm Sheath): a leaf that overlaps and covers newly emerging shoots and culms. They protect a young bamboo plant in the early stages of growth.

Foliage Leaf: the leaf that emerges from the nodes at the branches of the plant. The blade is the most prominent feature and is responsible from the majority of the plant's photosynthesis.

Gregarious flowering: or mass flowering, occurs when bamboo of the same genotype flower simultaneously in multiple locations. See flowering section.

Internode: the segment of the culm between the two nodes.

Leptomorph: the rhizome system of running bamboos. The rhizomes are generally thin and hollow and can spread over vast distances. Often referred to as "invasive".

Monopodial: a rhizome or branching system that contains a single dominant stem from which secondary branches or rhizomes emerge. Found in running bamboos.

Node: the point on any component on the axis where flowers, branches, and shoots emerge.

Pachymorph: the rhizome rhizome system of clumping bamboos. The rhizomes are generally short and thick, and curve upwards to produce new culms.

Rhizome: an underground stem that is responsible for the storage of food and colonization of new territory. It is similar in structure to the culm, containing roots, leaves, nodes, and internodes.

Root: A portion of the plant found underground or at the base of a culm. Its primary function is to anchor culms and collect water and nutrients.

Running: see monpodial or leptomorph.

Sheath: the part of a leaf that encases the newly emerging culms. The sheath is most prominent on the culm leaves of new shoots, and less prominent on foliage leaves.

Shoot: a newly emerging culm. Often used for their culinary value.

Sulcus: an inward groove that runs vertically along the internodes.

Sympodial: the rhizome or branching system of clumping bamboos. New culms emerge from the tip of each rhizome as they curve upwards