So named because it is said to bloom once a century, the Century Plant (Agave americana) in fact blooms after a decade or two of growth. When it is ready, it sends up a single thirty-foot stalk which produces an impressive blossom. So much energy is spent growing this flower that the plant dies shortly afterward. Side shoots growing around the base ensure a new generation of plants.
Photo captured April 27, 2012 at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago, Illinois.
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