Bamboo could well be the embodiment of the word 'versatile'.

ver•sa•tile (vûrˈsə-təl, -tīlˌ)

adj.    Capable of doing many things competently.

adj.    Having varied uses or serving many functions.

adj.    Variable or inconstant; changeable: a versatile temperament.


I'm always amazed, every time I see it used, how versatile bamboo is.

It's a plant, a fence, food, a float, a basket, a roof, scaffolding, a chair. 

There are a million issues for bamboo. 

In this image, shot in Hong Kong, it's used as scaffolding. For me this is one of the most amazing displays of its strength and flexibility..

Designboom has a nice illustrated article just about this particular use of bamboo.