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Mysterious bamboo regeneration baffles scientists ahead of once-in-a-century blooming event


A shoot of henon bamboo (Phyllostachys nigra var. henonis) before flowering.  (Image credit: Paul Starosta/Getty Images)

An unusual species of bamboo is about to flower for the first time in over 100 years, which could enable researchers to find out more about its mysterious regeneration process. 

Phyllostachys nigra var. henonis, or henon bamboo, flowers only once every 120 years before perishing. The current generation of this species is expected to flower in 2028. However, researchers from Hiroshima University in Japan noticed that a few local specimens had begun to flower early — and they took the opportunity to study this enigmatic species.

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