Bamboo belongs, not to the scientific family of trees, but to that of grass. Unlike other grasses, bamboo has lignin like trees, and large qualities of silica. It grows, not by cell-by-cell growth, but expands when it fills up with water.
Bamboo also goes in the group of Chinese “noble plants.” This group consists of the orchid, plum chrysanthemum, and bamboo. All of these are widely used and appreciated by the Chinese people.
Bamboo, however, is used more for utility than the other noble plants. It is used for dishes, poles, screens, paper, flood control… while the others are used more for food or decoration.