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Other Economic Products Obtained From Grasses

The bamboos (Bambusa spp.) are fast-growing, woody species of grasses. The largest species of bamboos can grow taller than 131 ft (40 m) and can have a diameter of 12 in (30 cm). The most important genera of the larger bamboos are Arundinaria, Bambusa, Dendrocalamus, Gigantochloa, and Phyllostachys. These treesized grasses occur in forests and in cultivation in subtropical and tropical parts of the world. Bamboo stalks are woody and strong and are widely used as a building and scaffolding material, especially in Asia. Bamboo canes are also split and used for thatching and for many other purposes. The young shoots can be steamed or boiled and eaten as a vegetable.

Some tropical species of grasses have essential oils in their tissues, and these can be extracted and used in the manufacturing of perfumes. Oil of citronella is distilled from the foliage of citronella grass (Cymbopogon nardus) and is used as a scent and as an insect repellent. The lemon-grass (C. citratus) and ginger-grass (C. martinii) also yield aromatic oils which are used as scents and in medicine.

Sweet grass (Hierochloe odorata) is an aromatic grass that grows in temperate regions of North America. This grass has long been used by Native Americans for basket weaving, and it is also smoked in culturally significant "sweetgrass" ceremonies.

The Job's tears (Coix lachryma-jobi) of southeast Asia produces large, white, lustrous seeds that can be eaten but are mostly used to make attractive necklaces, rosaries, and other decorations, often dyed in various attractive colors.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Glucagon to HabitatGrasses - Biology Of Grasses, Native Grasses Of North America, Grasses In Agriculture, Wheats, Maize Or Corn