Most types of bamboo flower once every 60 to 130 years. Not all bamboo plants have the same flowering patterns or characteristics. Botanists have no explanation for why the flowering intervals are so long.
Bamboo can display either gregarious flowering, sporadic flowering or annual flowering. Gregarious flowering occurs when all populations of a species of bamboo flowers together. Large amounts of energy are required to produce flowers and seeds, and the bamboo often dies.
Sporadic flowering is brought on by environmental factors and occurs when the bamboo flowers occasionally. The bamboo rarely dies after this type of flowering, which usually occurs individually or in groups.
Annual flowering is when bamboo flowers every year with no effect on the bamboo. It is unusual for annual flowering to occur, but there are a few species of bamboo that flower annually.