Friday, August 10, 2007

Century plant's flowering is once-in-a-lifetime event

Source : Dallas News
Else Horosko says seeing her century plant in bloom is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. In fact, she had despaired of seeing it flower before she died.

Agave americana, a Texas native, is supposed to bloom after 10 to 15 years, but Mrs. Horosko, 76, planted the specimen in her Oak Cliff back yard 37 years ago. For the last few years, she has watched the plant hopefully – and, in recent years, anxiously – for the tip of a blooming stalk to appear from deep within the center of the gray-green rosette of tough, spiny, thick leaves.

Else Horosko has been waiting 37 years for her century plant to bloom. Now that her wait is over, she must bid her garden companion of three decades farewell. After it blooms, the century plant dies.

Mrs. Horosko could only admire the pale yellow flower from its underside, because the stalk soared high above her head, standing 12 feet or more. "It's the funniest thing. The buds have been closed up to now," she said in her accented English. "It's not exactly a flower. Oh, I don't know. It's very unique." Read more..

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