The bamboos that giant pandas like to eat are Gelidocalamus fangianus.

Some bamboo species blossom very rarely, such as the Japanese Madake, which is known to blossom only once every 120 years. In the meanwhile, bamboos reproduce asexually by creating new bamboo shoots that stem from a root of the parent. People from India to Japan eat bamboo shoots, which must be harvested while they are still young, soft, and edible. The parent bamboo feeds nutrition to its offspring via a root connection, which allows the new offspring to grow as much as 40 m (100 ft) in the first year, sometimes as fast as 121cm (4 ft) in 24 hours. This phenomenal growth can result in property damage when a bamboo shoot grows straight underneath a house or other artificial objects. After the first year, the bamboo stops growing in height and width. Even without tree rings, it is still possible to tell the age of the bamboo by counting the number of nodes on a branch, which increases in number every spring when a new node grows from where last year's leaf broke off.

Bamboos are usually classified by how far apart they grow in a grove. The ones that grow well-spread are called runners, while the tropical bamboos that grow closer together are called clumpers, and others are classified as somewhere inbetween.

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