Century plants live from 10 to 30 years and their towering, tree-like flowering stems that rise toward the sun when they bloom are rare sights. So when Liberty County resident Robert Thorpe saw the uncommon horticultural spectacle on Sandra Hicks-Sheffield’s Midway property, he had to stop to take photos.
“It was amazing to see the stalk coming out of that plant like a missile,” she said.
Sheffield said her parents, the late Bradley and Mattie Hicks, planted the century plant back in 1985. Her son tends to it, she said. A family friend from Blackshear gave the couple the seed pod, Sheffield recounted.
Agave Americana is the scientific name for the plant that is native to the southern United States and northern and central Mexico, according to keys.lucidencentral.org.
The century plant is a large agave with “sharp leaf tip spines,” according to wildflower.org. The plant’s massive stalk-like bloom can measure 12-25 feet high, according to the website.
(Photos courtesy of Robert Thorpe)