[Malay.] This is the giant of grasses. It is a most useful and graceful plant. Its stem is hollow, and at intervals it forms joints or knots; and its flower is enclosed in scales, as in the common grass. It grows everywhere in the tropics - in China, India, and the valleys of the Andes. There are many kinds - the most common being from 40 to 80 feet long, and of any thickness up to 20 inches. Many stems rise from the same root or from the higher joint*
Young shoots contain a sweet pith, and are eaten as asparagus. With the stem the Malay builds his house, and furnishes it with chairs, tables, beds and bedding of the same material. It is made into sails, cables, hats, paper, fishing-rods, pipes, bridges, flutes, handles of tools and weapons, buckets and bottles.