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Bamboos are economically important plants with innumerable uses and many environmental benefits. Improving the availability of information on bamboos is an important step towards the development of sustainable utilization and conservation for this valuable renewable environmentally friendly resource, not only in its natural habitats, but also wherever it is cultivated throughout the world.

This site was launched in 2006, primarily as a means to bring together a growing variety of dispersed online tools and information relating to bamboo identification and naming. It also provided an opportunity to disseminate personal publications produced over a 40 year career as a bamboo specialist, working in Asia and in western botanical gardens. Most of these are accessible here as PDF documents or online links. The .co.uk domain was chosen not because this is a company or profit-making enterprise, but simply because it was cheapest.

The emphasis of this site was initially on temperate woody bamboos of Asian origin cultivated in the west, especially those that grow well in the UK, avoiding those that are too large and invasive. Bamboos of Bhutan was later added as a means of updating the book written in 1994. The initial intention was to write a book on cultivated bamboos, but a website seemed a much more flexible, useful and powerful alternative, which could adapt and develop, and link directly to other developing online information. Moreover, it was hoped that it would make information infinitely more accessible, and this has been borne out by a very extensive list of visitors. Amazingly the site receives more than 100,000 visits per year, and supplies up to 800 page impressions per day, with visitors not only from the UK & US as expected, but also from domains in 96 other countries so far, spread from Chile to Iceland, Finland to Malta, Morocco to South Africa, Syria to Japan, and Malaysia to French Polynesia.

The site includes a growing section Cultivated Bamboos. It is intended to slowly expand this section to all genera in western cultivation, with the most widely cultivated species. Draft text has been produced for 100 species and nearly 1000 photos have been taken, but funding has not yet been found to take it further as originally planned. Undertaking taxonomic research to get more reliable names before including them slows the process down.

In order to keep on hosting the website I am growing a few bamboo plants for sale (alas no longer Europe, now UK only thanks to Brexit, and excluding N Ireland). Please Contact me for details if you wish to help support my work by buying a plant, or some seed. A catalogue of the plants I am growing is now available, and I will send an updated list of what is currently for sale if you contact me. Sales of plants had just started to cover the costs of growing them prior to Brexit, but most sales were to continental Europe....

Most information on this site is freely available for reasonable non-commercial, non-advertising use, especially for education and training, as long as the source is cited, but intellectual property rights are protected, and all content is copyright of Chris Stapleton and/or hiring or funding agencies unless otherwise indicated. Any published material is also copyright of the publishers concerned, and material on external linked websites may well be subject to further restrictions on use.

Much information still cannot be made available for copyright reasons, but there is growing interest in improving dissemination of scientific information, which is leading to online publication of progressively larger proportions of our common knowledge. Under the Convention on Biological Diversity, and also under freedom of information legislation in various countries, this is becoming a legal commitment, but intellectual property rights still have to be respected.

It will be apparent from this site that the naming of bamboos is far from finished. New species are constantly being discovered. The detailed characteristics of many bamboos are only coming to light slowly, especially their floral details, for which we often have to wait for a century or more between flowering events. Many of the bamboos recently introduced into horticultural use still cannot be identified to species, as their taxonomy has not been studied adequately in their natural habitats or in the herbarium. Sadly, many species seem doomed to become extinct before they become known to science, despite their great utility to mankind and their substantial horticultural appeal. The savage cuts to botanical research funding made by recent governments accelerate this trend.

Many thanks to the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, which kindly gave a modest grant towards costs of setting up the website in 2006, and to the small elite meritorious and noble group who have donated to the site through the Paypal donation box, or bought plants from me. Your contributions have helped with the steadily rising hosting fees.

If you find this information useful and would like to help me continue to maintain and expand it, feel free to make a donation, however small. Just click on the Paypal donate box.



Use of bamboo identification information from this site is entirely at the user’s own risk. All efforts are taken to ensure the accuracy of bamboo identification information, but no responsibility can be taken by the author or the website hosts for any consequences of its use. Downloading or using material from this site with copyright held by a third party implies reasonable use, or that the user already holds permission for use of that material from the copyright holder.


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