Bamboo Plant Shoot
You see, when I was growing up in the Philippines, I would see my father working with the industrial, bamboo plant and I was always curious as to why its insides were hollow and not solid like regular tress.
I would see him working away and as he would cut away at the plant, my mind would create many reasons as to why it is hollow.
One day, I finally asked him why the shoots were not solid like regular trees, and he told me it is because unlike trees, after the bamboo has fully grown, it cannot continue to get bigger.
When a tree is continually growing, and each time it expands, another ring is added to the trees layers. Each layer represents one year of growth.
But when we are talking about bamboo growth, we are talking about the first time it grows. After it reaches its full width, the plant can only get taller, not wider. So the full girth of the plant is already known at the time of sprouting. The only time the bamboo is not hollow is at the point where plant like is growing, like a leaf.
It is because the bamboo plant type usually has a hollow shoot, that many people assume that Mexican bamboo is a member of the bamboo family. Don’t let that fool you though, the Mexican bamboo is a beautiful plant, but it is of the Buckwheat family.
It is at that thin point where the bamboo bridges the gap inside itself and allows leaves or flowers to grow off of it. There is a thin layer of membrane within the bamboo that can be cleared out once the plant has been cut down in order to put it to use.
So once you have cleared the membrane out of the bamboo plant shoot, you can then use it for a number of things. With the hollowed out insides, you can make pan flutes. You just need thin bamboo shoots cut down to different lengths, each length will produce a different note, which will give you a multi-tonal instrument.
You can also use the shoot for a walking stick. Many people who collect walking sticks enjoy bamboo ones in particularly because no two bamboo shoots are identical. Their colors will never be the exactly the same. And the spacing between the nodes, or the place where the foliage comes out, is not even.
No matter how you use the bamboo plant shoot, it is truly a marvel of nature. Watch it grow, or make music with it, just enjoy this amazing piece of nature with care and respect.
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