China has a total of 39 genera and over 500 species (excluding those introduced in recent years) of bamboo, with natural distributions of monopodial, sympodial and amphipodial bamboo species. The numbers of genera and species of monopodial bamboo account for more than 95% and 90% of the world’s total respectively. China is a country with the most and richest bamboo germplasm resources in the world.
Currently, China has a total of 5.2 million ha of bamboo forests (excluding the mountain bamboo bush), mainly distributed in hilly and mountainous areas in subtropics and tropics, and bamboo species were also found in warm temperate zones and southwestern alpines. The natural range of bamboo stretches from Taiwan in the east to the southeastern Tibet in the west, from Hainan Island in the south to Yellow River basin in the north, approximately equivalent to a range of latitudes of 18-40 degrees North and longitudes of 92-122 degrees East. Fujian, Zhejiang, Hunan and Jiangxi provinces have the biggest areas of bamboo forests each with more than 700,000 ha, and the total area of bamboo forests in the four provinces accounted for more than 60% of China’s total area of bamboo forests; Guangdong, Guangxi, Sichuan, Anhui, Yunnan, Hubei and Taiwan provinces each have an area of more than 200,000 ha. a certain area of bamboo was also distributed in Guizhou, Shanxi, Jiangsu, Chongqing, Henan, Hainan provinces (municipalities).
There are more than 100 bamboo species with high economic values, among which Moso bamboo is a native species with the biggest area, widest distribution, highest production, most frequent utilization and highest value.
In China, 90% of the bamboo forests are distributed in the sources and banks of the water systems, rivers, lakes and reservoirs, playing an important role in providing ecological shelters.