Bamboos are evergreen perennial flowering plants of the grass family. In bamboo, as in other grasses, the internodal regions of the stem are usually hollow and the vascular bundles in the cross-section are scattered throughout the stem instead of in a cylindrical arrangement.

Bamboos include some of the fastest-growing plants in the world,[4] due to a unique rhizome-dependent system. Certain species of bamboo can grow 910 mm (36 in) within a 24-hour period, at a rate of almost 40 mm (1.6 in) an hour (a growth around 1 mm every 90 seconds, or 1 inch every 40 minutes). Giant bamboos are the largest members of the grass family.

Bamboos are of notable economic and cultural significance in South Asia, Southeast Asia and East Asia, being used for building materials, as a food source, and as a versatile raw product. Bamboo has a higher specific compressive strength than wood, brick or concrete, and a specific tensile strength that rivals steel.


In the right conditions, hardy bamboo can be grown up to zone 5. I  have tried growing a few hardy bamboo varieties in USDA zone 8a but I did not succeed. It is simply too dry and too hot, not a good combination for bamboo. Some 60 miles from here, someone is successfully growing black bamboo near the Mimbres river where it is both cooler and wetter than in the desert valley.

Bamboo shoots and hearts of a few of the larger varieties are edible.

pickled bamboo hearts


I can buy bamboo hearts canned or in glass jars. I've tried them, but it isn't something I'd care to repeat unless I could find the fresh product, possibly in an Asian market in a big city.

They taste refreshing enough, but the vinegar is so dominant that I couldn't really tell how the bamboo should taste—the same problem I have with pickled artichoke hearts. The nacho jalapeños add a little zing, but as long as you don't eat the jalapeños, that isn't bad at all. 


This is what you need for 2 servings:

  • 1 jar pickled bamboo hearts
  • 2 tbsp. nacho jalapeños
Pic1: pickled bamboo hearts



Pic2: slice
Pic3: soak with nacho jalapeños
Pic4: served