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216 × 138 × 19 mm
184 pages
107 illustrations, 95 in colour
01 Oct 2013

Bamboo Susanne Lucas

Bamboo has an unparalleled history; it is very old, and at the same time very new. Numerous species of bamboo are distributed widely throughout the world, and bamboo is utilized by hundreds of millions of people in a great number of ways. As well as being used in food, clothing and shelter, it is believed that the first books were written on bamboo, and there is evidence that more than 5,000 years ago it was shaped by humans into musical instruments as well as the framework of housing. Bamboo also occurs in the creation beliefs of cultures across the globe.

Bamboo plays a vital role in the survival of many animals and ecosystems as well as having unique characteristics that offer potential solutions to modern ecological dilemmas – it grows extremely quickly, for example, making it an easily renewable resource. With the advent of modern research and technologies, the use of bamboo has increased dramatically – it competes with hardwoods as home flooring and can be found in the skins of aircraft and concrete reinforcements. This book draws on a vast array of sources to build a complete picture of bamboo in both history and our modern world.

‘The book’s perspective on bamboo is very wide-ranging, from its botany to its uses, history and cultural associations . . . What comes across is how widespread bamboo is and I am glad to see much discussion about the New World bamboos. Particularly exciting is the discussion of the vast range of contemporary technical uses we may know about bamboo socks, but there is much more, with many new applications linked to sustainability . . . Bamboo is the latest in a series exploring plant groups in a rounded way, concentrating on human interaction with each plant. The production values are high and the books are set to become a collector’s series.’ — Gardens Illustrated

‘This book is both a celebration and exploration into the impact this ancient plant has had on our world. From its early beginnings, to the diverse role bamboo has played in food, horticulture, navigation and architecture, the author takes us on a delightful journey through bamboos majestic history. Complementing this colourful work is an assortment of photographs and illustrations, leading us through a curiosity shop of facts and timelines, and it is from these we sense the passion the author has for her subject . . . This diverse, radiant work is entertaining and enjoyable.’ — The Garden (RHS)

‘An attractive, lavishly illustrated new series, perfect for house gifts if you’re visiting someone who’ll welcome you with clean towels and a trowel.’ — New York Times

‘Titles in the Botanical series combine accessible horticultural writing and a look at a plant’s cultural and social impact. The books are both scholarly and playful.’ — Chicago Tribune

Bamboo is not large, but it would still be a great coffee table book because it’s so beautiful. Almost every page has exquisite color photography and many of the pictures are full page. The selection of illustrations is amazingly varied and well chosen, from vintage photography to mouth-watering pictures of bamboo-shoot meals. The book is unique in many ways. It integrates horticultural and botanical writing with a broader account of the cultural and social impact of bamboo. The appealing design of the book goes beyond the cover and pictures the text is well written, providing plenty for everyone to learn, including many uncommon aspects of bamboo. There’s a fascinating section on the history of books about bamboo in English, beginning in London in 1868 . . . This incredibly useful information is not presented in any other book.’ — West Hawaii Today

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Susanne Lucas is Executive Director of the World Bamboo Organization and a horticulturist, designer, landscape gardener and consultant based in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1.            Distribution, Diversity and Classification
2.            Horticulture
3.            The Hand of Man
4.            Modern Potentials, Today and Tomorrow
5.            The Environment
Appendix 1: Tribes and Subtribes of Bamboo
Appendix 2: Bamboo Gardens and Arboreta
Further Reading
Association and Websites
Photo Acknowledgements