Bamboo grows all around the world in countries that are close to the equator. It is a highly adaptable plant that can grow at many different altitudes and in many different types of soil, as long as it has sufficient rainfall to sustain it. There are between 1,050 and 1,070 species of bamboo.
Though China has the most bamboo acreage in the world, the plant also grows in South America, Australia, Africa, India and on many Pacific islands. Bamboo is most closely associated with China, because it is the country that most traditionally integrates it into the culture. More than 400 species of bamboo grow throughout China, and the wood of the bamboo plants is used for building and for carving household items. In addition, bamboo is used to produce food for animals and medicines. Though bamboo is also found in other countries, it is not used as extensively as it is in China because these areas have other sources of wood and building materials.
Bamboo is able to grow at both high and low altitudes. In hot countries, bamboo plants can be found growing as high as 10,000 feet in elevation. Some Himalayan species can grow in elevations as high as 12,000 feet.