Synopses & Reviews
We may think of bamboo only as a snack for cuddly panda bears, but we use the plant as food, clothing, paper, fabric, and shelter. Drawing on a vast array of sources, this book builds a complete picture of bamboo in both history and our modern world. Susanne Lucas shows how bamboo has always met the physical and spiritual requirements of humanity while at the same time being exploited by people everywhere. Lucas describes how bamboo’s special characteristics, such as its ability to grow quickly and thus be an easily replaced resource, offers potential solutions to modern ecological dilemmas. She explores the vital role bamboo plays in the survival of many animals and ecosystems, as well as its use for some of the earliest books ever written, as the framework for houses, and for musical instruments. As modern research and technologies advance, she explains, bamboo use has increased dramatically—it can now be found in the filaments of light bulbs, airplanes, the reinforcements of concrete, and even bicycles. Filled with illustrations, Bamboo is an interesting new take on a plant that is both very old and very new.
“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, magazine of the Royal Horticultural Society
“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 collectors series.” Gardens Illustrated
About the Author
Susanne Lucas is president of the Bamboo Society of North American and a horticulturalist, designer, and landscape gardener based in Plymouth, Massachussetts.
Table of Contents
1. Distribution, Diversity and Classification
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
Association and Websites