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Dendrocalamus giganteus: Growth of the giant bamboo

Growing as tall as 30 meters, Dendrocalamus giganteus, the giant bamboo, is the tallest grass on the planet. It also holds the record for fastest-growing plant. You can see on the measuring staff how many centimeters per day a new shoot grows – as much as 40 centimeters in a single day! Look at July 20th for an example. That was a perfect day for the giant bamboo: there was plenty of water, and it must have been a sunny day with enough light and high temperatures. There was obviously something amiss on the days just before and after. Those were probably cloudy days, so the bamboo was missing light and warmth.

Despite its rapid growth, the slender stems, or culms, of the giant bamboo are very solid. If one is split open lengthwise, you’ll see that the culms are made up inside of hollow chambers separated at intervals by transverse disks. This construction principle makes the giant bamboo very sturdy despite its relatively small biomass.



Audio file download
Dendrocalamus giganteus: Growth of the giant bamboo (MP3, 502 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Günter Gerlach, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg