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Bamboo is an evergreen perennial flowering plant of Bambusoideae, a subfamily of Gramineae. The word "bamboo" comes from the kanada word "Bambu", which was introduced into English through Indonesian and Malay.

In bamboo, as in other grasses, the internode area of the stem is usually hollow, and the vascular bundles in the cross-section are scattered throughout the stem, rather than in a cylindrical arrangement. There is also no dicotyledonous xylem. The lack of secondary wood causes the stems of monocotyledons, including palms and bamboos, to be cylindrical rather than tapering.

Bamboo includes some of the fastest growing plants in the world due to its unique system of roots. Some species of bamboo can grow 91 cm (36 in) in 24 hours at a rate of 4 cm (1.6 in) per hour (about 1 mm in 90 seconds and 1 in 40 minutes). Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family.

Bamboo has significant economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia. It is used as building materials, food sources and general raw materials. Bamboo has higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete, and comparable specific tensile strength with steel.

For a long time, bamboo has been considered as the most primitive grass, mainly because of the presence of heads, uncertain inflorescences, "false spikelets" and flowers with three lo, six stamens and three stigmas. After the latest research on molecular phylogeny, many tribes and grasses formerly belonging to Bambusoideae are now classified into other subfamilies, such as chlamydomonaceae, Umbelliferae and caterpillariae. In the present sense, this subfamily belongs to BOP grass, and is the sister of poodaeae (Gramineae and related species).

Bamboo consists of three evolutionary branches divided into tribes, which are strongly corresponding to the geographical regions representing the new world grass species (olyrea E), tropical woody bamboo (Bambuseae) and temperate woody bamboo (Arundinarieae). Woody bamboo does not form a single group of species; on the contrary, tropical woody and herbaceous bamboo are sisters of temperate woody bamboo.