Monday, June 20, 2011

Once Upon A Century

A RARE SIGHT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOOD!



Commonly called"Century Plant" Agava Americana is
in full bloom on our island, about two blocks from my
house.  It is a spectacle to behold and autos are constantly stopping to photograph this giant figure. I have stopped several times, sometimes for photos, sometimes just to look.  This plant blooms only once in it's lifetime.  It dies having expended so much energy
to produce the bloom there is no energy left to support the host plant.  




Once the flowering begins the stalk grows at 5 to 6 inches a day.  It can reach heights of up to 40 feet. I am not a good judge of height but as you can tell this is extremely tall. 



The blooms resemble cauliflower and range from yellow to green. The name "Century Plant" is a misnomer for it can bloom after 10 to 15 years with the right environment. This section of the neighborhood has been established about 15 years but I am not sure how long the plant has been there. These plants are common in  Savannah landscapes. I am not sure how often they bloom around town but on rare occasions a blooming plant will be featured in the newspaper.


You can see it's height compared to the auto. There are also lots of baby plants around the base. Maybe in 15 years we will see another blossom!
The Mexicans have a unique use for this plant, they remove the flower-stalk immediately. 
The plant pours its banked energy into the place where the flower-stalk ought to be, produces a basin of sweet sap from which Mexicans make their national drink, syrupy pulque. By distilling fermented pulque they make mescal, a potent liquor. By letting the flower stalk grow, drying and slicing the firm pith, they get natural razor strops, insulating material.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,746038,00.html#ixzz1PmtauO9G



I love my home! 
Our natural habitat is amazing!


I hope your enjoyed your visit. Please leave a comment so I know that you were here. 
I am linking to these gracious hostesses:

Metamorphosis Monday-BNOTP
Brag Monday-The Graphics Fairy
Masterpiece Monday-Boogieboard Cottage
Amaze Me Monday-Dittle Dattle
Toot Your Horn Tuesday-A Silly Little Sparrow
Bloomin' Tuesday-Ms Green Thumb Jean
Outdoor Wednesday-A Southern Daydreamer
Wow Us Wednesday-Savvy Southern Style
Whassup Wednesday-Elements Interiors
Show and Tell Friday-My Romantic Home
Hodgepodge Friday-It's a Hodgepodge Life
Feature Yourself Friday-Fingerprints on the Fridge
Inspiration Friday-At The Picket Fence



40 comments:

Martha said...

I didn't know they bloomed -- what an amazing flower -- I thought it was a tree in the background and you were just showcasing a large century plant!

Wow!!!

Farah Muzaffar said...

Hello Ginger. what a pleasant tour... beautiful weather it look and what a sweet way to tell the things... really interesting
http://craftaworld.blogspot.com/
please visit me when you have time
Love
Farah

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Now that's a flower! Very interesting, thanks for sharing:@)

laxsupermom said...

What an unusual plant! I've never seen one like it before. I use agave nectar when I bake. Is that the same as the pulque? Thanks for sharing.

ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

WOW Ginger what an amazing plant!! I would love to see that in person! Martina

Jo said...

WOW!...and what a beauty, I love the century plant I didn't know this, I wondered where it got it's name, now we know,thanks sweet Gran.

~Jo

rnpurcell said...

Oh my goodness, what a interesting plant. Never heard of this one.
Thanks for the tour.
Reba

Debbie said...

How come I live so near Savannah and have never seen one of these??? This is completely cool to me. I can't wait to show my husband. I rarely drag him over to blogland, but he'll like this.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

This was just fascinating!! I have never heard of this. This is why I love blogging, there is so much to learn. Thank you for sharing!

Carol

NanaDiana said...

AMAZING! I have heard about this plant but never knew what it was-amazing!!! xo Diana

Karen said...

That is glorius Ginger, I've never seen anything like it. Nature never ceases to amaze me.

Melissa said...

Awesome sight! Thanks for sharing!!

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
I love this so Big Ginger!! Nature always takes over in our Gardens. Thanks so much for your sweet comments about my new Tablescapes for my Wedding Anniversary to my Husband. I hope you and Bob have a Great Week.
XXOO Diane

Rhondi said...

We had one of those in a garden here in Charlotte a couple of years ago. It was quite amazing! Oh and I removed your link.Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Chatty Crone said...

Whew that is a biggin! Pretty though.

Pam - diy Design Fanatic said...

I am surprised by the height of that bloom! Thanks for sharing all of that interesting information!

His Way or Her Way said...

I just love your blog!! There are so many delightful things to read and look at!!

Lori

deborah said...

Amazing! I have never seen anything like it! Thanks so much for sharing! I am a new follower. Stop by and say hi!

Carol said...

WOWZERS!!! How cool :)

Mariette said...

Dearest Ginger,

That is quite a sight! We too have a century plant, given by a neighbor. And also another agave variety from Mexico that we did bring as a tiny starter. They sure do make the tequila but not from the century plant though. Only from the blue agave. We've seen plantations of blue agave while working in Mexico. There are many products made from agave, like one lady said, the agave nectar is coming from this family as well.

Thanks for sharing this special bloomer!

Lots of love,

Mariette

Donna Heber said...

Thank you for sharing your century plant with us. What an interesting story. Have a great day!

Zoey said...

Wow, that is a spectacle to behold! What an interesting plant. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Rosemary said...

It is a truly amazing plant.

Deb said...

I'm popping over from MsGreen Thumb Jean's. I think you just won the award for most unusual plant on Bloomin'Tuesday! :) Amazing story and new to me!

Darla said...

They are amazing aren't they?

daisy said...

How incredible is that? So glad you chose to share with us.

Suzanne said...

I've never seen or heard of this plant. Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!

xinex said...

Wow! So unusual and interesting! Thanks for sharing it with us, Ginger and for the info...Christine

Jean said...

Welcome to Bloomin' Tuesday! Great first post about an amazing plant. I've never seen anything like it. Jean

Bet said...

How unusual! Great photos that show the scale of that bloom!

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Amazing! I have never seen anything like this. Thanks for sharing.

SquirrelQueen said...

That is amazing. I grew up in Georgia and I have only seen a century plant in bloom once.

Kaye said...

That is incredible! I've heard of these plants but actually had no idea what they looked like. Thanks for sharing.

Anne said...

Wow! This is spectacular! I've seen century plants before, but never in bloom!! I also didn't know that they bloom sooner than a century and that they die afterwards! Thanks for the beautiful photos and the awesome information!!

orchidlanedecor.com said...

Well Ginger, I've NEVER seen anything like this. You'd need a pretty amazing vase for that monster of a bloom!

Suzy xxx

niartist said...

WOW Ginger, I've never seen anything like that before! WOW! I came by via Susan's party, but I missed it myself. I took pics of my pergola all dressed up this afternoon (with the 2 hour lull in the rain), and I REALLY hope you'll stop by and take a peak, and let me know what you think of the progress! :)
xo,
A

Fishtail Cottage said...

Popping over to say hello for the "Blog Party"! this is a gorgeous setting that plant is amazing!!! i host a garden party on Thursday's & would love to have you come by to peek around or even link up?!? hope to see you sometime! xoox, tracie

Cindy said...

The plant is amazing! I would love to see one in person.

Jan@southernjunkin' said...

This is amazing! Thanks for sharing! Visiting from Outdoor Wed...

Light and Voices said...

I saw the Century Plant bloom at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. It is something. Nice photos.
Joyce M

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...