Once in a life time bloom!

alison(6b/OH)March 14, 2006

Thought it's worth mentioning, the Century PLant is getting ready to bloom at the Franklin Park Conservatory. From FPC:

The Century Plant, also known as Agave americana, is blooming now in the Desert biome of the Franklin Park Conservatory. The name, Century Plant, is derived from the fact that it is known for blooming only once in its lifetime, with a life span of up to 60 years. This could mean approximately 15 years in warm regions and as many as 60 years in colder climates.

When the Century Plant blooms, the giant asparagus-like blooming stalk is large and grows quickly-up to 12 inches a week-then dies shortly after blooming, leaving a tall wooden seed stalk.

The exact trigger that induces the growth spurt of the flower stalk is still a myth to horticulturists.

It has been 20 years since the Century Plant flowered at Franklin Park Conservatory. In 1986, the flower stalk grew so tall that Conservatory staff removed the glass windows in the Showhouse roof so the plant could continue its upward growth. A Century Plant flower stalk can measure up to 40 feet high and bears incredibly fragrant, feathery, yellow-green flowers.

The plant stems from a spreading basal rosette, which can expand to 12 feet across. The rosette has large gray-green leaves that can grow up to six feet long, each with a spiny margin and a heavy spike at the tip.

The Century Plant is an agave originally from MexicoƂs arid highlands, but can be cultivated worldwide. Historically, it was an important plant to indigenous people, used for medicines, fiber, needles, and food. Today in Mexico, the Century Plant is used to make Pulque-a thick, milky, and flavorful alcoholic beverage produced by fermenting the fresh sap of the Century Plant.

Pretty cool!

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storygardener(5/6 central oh)

Thanks for this info, Alison. I'd like to get there and see it!

Beverly

    Bookmark   March 19, 2006 at 4:46PM
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