Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bamboo Takes One for the Team

I'm convinced that the nice stand of Bambusa oldhamii in our back yard is smarter than most plants. Spooky smart. Until a few weeks ago, the canopy was very full on all sides, and then it just opened up around the new culms. Before, you couldn't see the new shoots at all. Now, they are clearly visible, limbless and shooting to the sky.

Why did this happen? To allow in some sun, I suppose. I don't know. I mean, how does a plant know to do that? The other plants out back are just mildly opportunistic--they grow and push and shove until I reprimand them or until the rain quits feeding them. But they don't make room for other plants.

The Bamboo, though, always seems to be thinking and working together. It (or is it a they?) drops its leaves and sleeves on the ground and creates it own mulch. Each culm sends out branches, but not to compete with the neighbor culms--there always seems to be enough sunlight for all. Not bad for beings in such a crowded space.

Now I've discovered that 3 or 4 of the culms are broken at the top. Sure, maybe the wind snapped them.

Or maybe it was intentional, knowing that the real estate is limited up there on top, with just enough room for a few branches at the crown, so maybe they drew straws (as plants are known to do) and the short straws took the hit for the good of the team and snapped themselves.

Anyway, it's just a theory in progress...

No comments:

Post a Comment