|About the Book|
Bamboo occupies an unparalleled position in the plant kingdom in terms of its distribution, diversity and uses in the tropics and subtropics. In addition to featuring prominently in the lives of rural communities, particularly in Asia, it continues to find new applications in such wide ranging areas as paper and rayon manufacture- construction- architecture- engineering- handicrafts- food and medicine. Within Asia, India is second only to China in terms of the quantities and varieties of bamboo species found in the country. However, as in many other countries, information on this subject is generally inadequate and inaccessible. Contradictory reports on various aspects of bamboos, especially relating to taxonomic and phytogeographic observations, further add to the confusion regarding classification. There is thus an urgent need for a review of the current literature and a compilation of information on the various species of bamboo, including their synonyms. This compilation by K.K. Seethalakshmi and M.S. Muktesh Kumar, scientists specializing in plant physiology and taxonomy respectively at the Kerala Forest Research Institute, seeks to fulfil this need. Based primarily on a literature survey, it provides a comprehensive and holistic account of 128 bamboo species belonging to 18 genera occurring in India. By synthesizing and consolidating the work done so far on each of the covered species, it is expected to illuminate current information gaps and to provide a solid foundation for further work in this area.