A Great Big City

The Last Days of an Eighty-Year-Old Agave Plant

Agave
Agave via Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum on Facebook

The University of Michigan's arboretum has been hosting a story eighty years in the making as one of their agave plants has reached the end of its life by going through its first and last bloom.

The agave has been at the university since 1934, but it wasn't until April 2014 that it began to grow a flower stalk so tall they had to remove a piece of the greenhouse roof! It was the beginning of the end for a plant that only blooms once in its life, and now, in the latest update from the arboretum, the leaves of the plant have begun to wilt and wrinkle, even before some of the uppermost flowers have begun to bloom.

After the agave blooms its last, it sounds like the university will be able to dig up the plant and harvest "pups" that are the offspring of the original plant.

Happy Tequila Day, you ol' agave.

Bonus: Take a look at the plant at night, including the large amount of nectar that is dripping down from the blooming flowers and coating the floor!

(Image via Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum on Facebook)

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