Woody bamboo, or Bambuseae poaceae, falls within the family of grasses and represents the tallest variety, with some species typically reaching more than 100 feet in height. Bamboo is found largely in warmer or tropical climates and can grow an astonishing 100 feet tall in just three months.
Because of bamboo's remarkable rate of growth and also its high tensile strength, close to that of steel in some species, it is used in a variety of human applications. These include everything from food and drink to construction, as reinforcement for concrete.
The next tallest form of grass is miscanthus, also called elephant grass or Ugandan grass. It is native to the grasslands of East Africa. It typically grows up to 10 feet in height and can reach up to 22 feet. It resembles bamboo in many respects and is a perennial plant. Miscanthus is most often used for animal fodder, but is also being developed as an alternative to corn in biofuel production.
Both bamboo and miscanthus are native to tropical regions. In North America are only used in gardening, landscaping or agriculture in the southernmost regions. In many parts of the world; however, bamboo in particular is an integral part of the lifestyle and it is estimated that more than half the world's population uses bamboo in one form or another every day.