bambooBamboo belongs to the grass family but with some qualities that sets it apart. The floral structure of bamboos is basically that of the grass family, but the bamboos typically have three lodicules (scales at the base of an ovary), six stamens, and three stigmas, the germination areas of the pistil, rather than the two lodicules, three stamens, and two stigmas typical of most grasses. Although many bamboos flower annually, others flower only at intervals of 10 to 100 years. All members of a particular species flower at the same time, and die shortly after flowering and setting their seed.

Folklore apart, scientists say that the strange phenomena of bamboo flowering, called gregarious bamboo flowering because the bamboo clumps flower all at the same time only once in the plants’ lifetime, wreaks ecological havoc because of two reasons:

First, bamboo plants die after flowering. It will be at least some years before bamboo plants take seed again, leaving bare exposed soil – which could be disastrous in mountainous states – and also leading to food scarcity, since animals depend on bamboo plants.  More about bamboo → here


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