Most bamboo species are native to warm and moist tropical and warm temperate climates. However, many species are found in diverse climates, ranging from hot tropical regions to cool mountainous regions and highland cloud forests. In the Asia-Pacific region they occur across East Asia, from north to 50 °N latitude in Sakhalin, to south to northern Australia, and west to India and the Himalayas. China, Japan, Korea, India and Australia, all have several endemic populations. They also occur in small numbers in sub-Saharan Africa, confined to tropical areas, from southern Senegal in the north to southern Mozambique and Madagascar in the south. In the Americas, bamboo has a native range from 47 °S in southern Argentina and the beech forests of central Chile, through the South American tropical rainforests, to the Andes in Ecuador near 4,300 m (14,000 ft). Bamboo is also native through Central America and Mexico, northward into the Southeastern United States. Canada and continental Europe are not known to have any native species of bamboo. As garden plants, many species grow readily outside these ranges, including most of Europe and the United States.
Recently, some attempts have been made to grow bamboo on a commercial basis in the Great Lakes region of east-central Africa, especially in Rwanda. In the United States, several companies are growing, harvesting, and distributing species such as Phyllostachys nigra (Henon) and Phyllostachys edulis (Moso).