Bamboo, Bamboo Cane, Plant, Structure

Japanese artists and Chinese have found inspiration in the analysis of the bamboo plant. Hiroshigi, among the best of the landscape artists of Japan, founder of a number of the best-known wood-block prints, has immortalized it in his image of bamboos in a typhoon. Coolies running down the green hillside; chair-bearers bowing before the end; long lines of grey rain and the slender dark wind-tossed stems lightly dancing before the gale! He who would see these graceful grasses in their best must pay a visit to a mountain grove on a windy spring afternoon. They whirl and influence like dancers that have abandoned themselves into a frenzied rhythm. Light flashes from each smooth leaf as from a mirror before the mountain seems coated with a twinkling sheen of silver.

On these times they possess the charm of”attractiveness half-revealed.” Every smooth stem shines as if polished; each leaf is tipped with a globule of water before a passing breeze sends a tiny shower in all directions.

The most awesome thing about bamboo is its way of growth. The new spikes push their way through the clods and look among the older culms like heaps of bayonets, well coated with dark-brown mottled sheaths. No joints are visible initially; nothing but bristling points, competitive and ready to race with competitors for a spot in sunlight. Nodes shortly appear and as the stems lengthen the downy sheaths drop off, leaving the green culms coated with white blossom like the blossom of a peach.

Being curious to know precisely how quickly the shoots actually grew, I made myself when the spikes seemed. Each day I quantified certain ones to find out what progress was made in twenty five hours. The favorite stood near the garden wall. When first measured it had been eleven inches high. Forty-eight hours after it touched the pole in the twenty-seven inch mark. When nine days old it attained a height of seven feet, its average growth daily for six days being over nine inches. At this time it had been at its ugly duckling stage, for the pointed sheaths reminded among the pinfeathers of young birds.

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