China is relatively poor in wood resources but
is one of the few countries that is rich in bamboo resources. Bamboo, a
member of the grass family, is one of the world’s most environmentally
friendly building products. Every April, new bamboo shoots grow out of the
extensive bamboo root systems found on many mountains in Southeast China.
Hundreds of different species of bamboo are found in many countries through
out the world; however, China is the major producer of bamboo construction
products and its history of bamboo utilization covers thousands of years.
Although more than 1,200 species of bamboo have
been identified worldwide, only Phyllostachys pubescens (known in China as
Mao, Moso or hairy bamboo) has the wall thickness, color, structure,
density, and strength to provide the necessary raw material for bamboo
flooring. Mao bamboo grows up to two feet on the first day after sprouting
from its underground root and attains its maximum height of 60 to 90 feet in