Phyllostachys aurea, Phyllostachys nigra
Bamboo is a member of the grass family, but grows tall like a tree. It is also the fastest growing plant on earth. In China, bamboo is a major part of everyday life and carries important symbolism. Bamboo is a symbol of strength, integrity and personal virtue because it bends in a storm but does not break.
Treated bamboo is strong and lightweight. The Chinese use it to make everything from chopsticks, hats and musical instruments to bridges and scaffolding. Its fibres are used for paper and fabric.
The young shoots are edible, the leaves are used as food wrappers and rice can be cooked in the hollow stalks. The resin, sap, leaves and shoots are used in many kinds of medicine, especially for fevers, convulsions and phlegm.
Right: This paper fan painting by Gao Fenghan dated 1725 is
decorated with bamboo,
rocks and chrysanthemums.