Zippy Fast Bamboo
Tenacity Bamboo shooting up through solid asphalt -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 @ 45 mm — 1/80 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Tenacity
Bamboo shooting up through solid asphalt

The parking lot I use near Anthony's kindergarten used to be part of a temple garden that, apparently, contained some bamboo. We've noticed of late some bamboo shooting up through the asphalt, growing at an astonishing rate. (Well, at least, astonishing if you're not already familiar with how fast bamboo grows.)

The parking lot owner (who also owns the temple) doesn't care for it, so he hacked it off once when it popped up last year. You can see its remains to the left of the growing shoot above. I've been watching this one for the last couple of weeks, hoping that it doesn't get cut down.

Two Weeks Ago about four feet tall -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 @ 17 mm — 1/160 sec, f/4.5, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Two Weeks Ago
about four feet tall
Today left of center, about 19 feet tall -- Copyright 2008 Jeffrey Eric Francis Friedl
Nikon D200 @ 34 mm — 1/350 sec, f/5.6, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Today
left of center, about 19 feet tall

It grew about 15 feet in 16 days, which averages more than 11 inches a day. That's far less than the maximum of 2 inches per hour claimed on Wikipedia, but impressive nevertheless.

The one shoot above looks pathetic all by itself, especially with such an unphotogenic backdrop, but generally speaking, I love the look of bamboo, both when it's growing (e.g. like this or this), and the many ways its used after it's harvested, such as in fencing, security, flooring, wall construction, wall covering, of course, in the arts (such as ikebana and lanterns), and, well, just about everything.


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

I wonder if it can be used as a source of biofuel as well? That growth rate really is remarkable.

— comment by Joanna on June 27th, 2008 at 2:02am JST (9 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

When I first noticed that bamboo shoot I wondered where the energy came from for it force its way through the asphalt (it was very small at that point). I reasoned that it certainly wasn’t getting energy from the sun as its leaves were tiny. But, I now think that maybe it is connected through a root system to larger shoots elsewhere, which do derive energy from the sun, and it gets its power from there. That said, it still demonstrates the power of life and its will to live.

— comment by Arthur on June 27th, 2008 at 10:16pm JST (9 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

What people don’t realize is that bamboo is a grass, not a tree. It’s hollow, with many shoots connected via underground networks of roots, and with “grain” that rises vertically instead of horizontally as in trees.

— comment by Zak on June 28th, 2008 at 8:24pm JST (9 years, 5 months ago) comment permalink

If you follow Mythbusters you can watch how bamboo propably was used as torture method…

— comment by Teemu on December 25th, 2008 at 7:16am JST (9 years ago) comment permalink
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