Thursday, June 16, 2011


As I walked out to the mailbox this morning, I spied an unusual sight for my neighborhood.  It was a Century Plant. 

Now the Agave parryi, as the scientists like to call it, is common in Arizona but usually at lower altitudes.  I don't think I've ever seen one in bloom in my neighborhood, which is around 5,100 feet elevation.

The plant gets its name from the fact that it only blooms once in its life.  But rather than once every 100 years, it's more like around 25 years.  The flowering stalk, which can get up to about 15 feet tall, grows so fast it takes all the energy out of the plant, which then dies.  That means the flowering part will turn into a dry, wooden stalk.

So it takes awhile and then it doesn't last long and you will probably never get another bloom but the one time it's there, it is a sight to behold.