Many species of bamboo flower once every 60 to 130 years. The entire species will flower at once no matter where in the world it happens to be planted (I know, there are some minor variations but you get the point). As soon as the plant flowers and sets seed it dies in mass. This is called a gregarious flower cycle and if you are unlucky enough to purchase your bamboo as this cycle is reaching it's climax you will end up with fishing poles.
As of this writing I have been unable to find a source that accurately predicts the rise and fall of this plant. I'm sure there must be information out there and if someone knows please email me.