What Is the World’s Tallest Grass?
The world’s tallest grass is bamboo. Even though these woody poles are very tall and hard, they are actually in the same family as the grass in your yard. But unlike other grasses, most bamboos are of giant size. One type of bamboo has been found growing 120 feet tall.
It’s tough, hollow stem can be a foot thick. Bamboo is one of the world’s fastest-growing plants. Bamboo can grow as much as three feet in a single day! People use bamboo to make everything from fishing poles to furniture. Tender young bamboo shoots are eaten as vegetables.
We have two native bamboos in North America and, these lush and thriving grasses grow in moist, warm regions. The so called switch cane of Maryland, Indiana and Texas is a 12 foot bamboo grass. A 25 foot bamboo grows wild in Virginia and Florida. The long, stiff stems are wrapped in slender leaves that rustle like crisp ribbons in the wind. A thicket of our native bamboo is called a cane brake.
In tropical Asia, Africa, Central and South America there are some 500 different kinds of bamboo. Some varieties are just a few inches tall, others are 20, 30 or 50 feet tall and the giants of the grassy bamboos are 100 to 120 feet tall.
A bamboo plant can sprout up to 100 long, straight stems. Each stem is a stiff and woody tube, notched with round knuckles at regular intervals. The inside is hollow; the surface is smooth and shiny. The papery green leaves glow like slender ribbons from joints of the stem.