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Giant timber bamboo (Dendrocalamus giganteus), one of the largest species of bamboo. Many bamboos only flower at intervals as long as 60 or 120 years.
Bamboo's long life makes it a Chinese symbol of longevity, while in India it is a symbol of friendship. The rarity of its blossoming has led to the flowers' being regarded as a sign of impending famine. This may be due to rats feeding upon the profusion of flowers, then multiplying and destroying a large part of the local food supply. The most recent flowering began in May 2006. Bamboo is said to bloom in this manner only about every 50 years (FAO) 'gregarious' species
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