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Panda Updates- Monday, August 15

We talk a lot about bamboo here, but we don’t often take a closer look at the plant itself. Did you know that bamboo is technically a grass? The stem, or culm, of bamboo is usually woody and very strong, which is why it might be hard to believe it is a grass. Bamboo belongs to the family Poaceae, which also includes rye, barley, wheat, and oats. There are more than 1,400 species of bamboo, some of which can grow over 130 feet tall! When they are young, the new growth bamboo (also called “shoots”) can grow around a foot in height per day.  

You may also be aware that, once planted, bamboo is extremely hard to contain. It has underground stems called rhizomes that can grow away from the plant and pop up out of the ground elsewhere as a new stand of bamboo. Many people plant bamboo as a privacy fence in their yard only to later find unwanted bamboo sprouting all over the place! This method of growth is especially interesting when you learn that the bamboo plant only flowers once in its lifetime, usually after at least 12 years of growth. Some species wait over one hundred years before flowering! Talk about a late bloomer!

Source: Encyclopædia Britannica, inc. (n.d.). Bamboo. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved August 14, 2022, from

Michelle E.
Keeper III, Mammals


Connect With Your Wild Side #onlyzooatl