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Bamboos are distributed throughout tropical, sub-tropical, and mild temperate regions worldwide. The greatest diversity occurs in southern and southeastern Asia although the tropical Americas also have many species.
Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family. In bamboos the intermodal stems are hollow and the woody xylem is absent. The absence of secondary growth wood causes the stems of bamboos to be columnar rather than tapering.
Bamboos are some of the fastest-growing plants in the world due to a unique root system. Certain species can grow 35 inches within a 24 hour period.
Bamboo stems (culms) are suitable for use within three to seven years. The stems can be cut and laminated into sheets and planks. This process involves cutting stalks into thin strips, planing them flat, and boiling and drying the strips. They are then glued, pressed and finished.
Products made from bamboo laminate include flooring, cabinetry, furniture and decorations. Bamboo is also used in construction in Asian countries.