The Bamboo Garden at ZooMontana was originally established in 1999. It offers a unique look at the growth of Bamboo in our wild Montana climates. The garden is located on the southern edge of the Wolf Habitat and just north of the main pathway. The Bamboo shoots are used to supplement the diet of the Zoo's Red Pandas and are nurtured by ZooMontana volunteers.
Young Bamboo growth
The bamboos /bæmˈbuː/ ( listen) are evergreen perennial flowering plants in the subfamily Bambusoideae of the grass family Poaceae. In bamboo, as in other grasses, the internodal regions of the stem are usually hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement. The dicotyledonous woody xylem is also absent. The absence of secondary growth wood causes the stems of monocots, including the palms and large bamboos, to be columnar rather than tapering.
Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world, due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Certain species of bamboo can grow 91 cm (36 in) within a 24-hour period, at a rate of almost 4 cm (1.6 in) an hour (a growth around 1 mm every 90 seconds, or 1 inch every 40 minutes). Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick, or concrete and a specific tensile strength that rivals steel.