WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — When it comes to vacationing at the beach, the first things that come to mind is surely fun in the sun, sand, and the swimming in ocean. Even maybe a few palm trees, but one hotel in Wrightsville Beach has a unique plant that is creating a lot of attention.
Not one, but two 30-foot Agave Americana, or Century Plants, are growing right outside the lobby of Blockade Runner Beach Resort. Groundskeeper, Aubrey Doggett planted them about 11 years ago during renovations, and just this year they began to bloom.
“Middle of May and grew a foot a day until mid June and started budding out,” Doggett said. “And just last week and a half the seeds have been developed into blooms that have come out and it’s dropping like parachutes all over the property.”
The plants are bringing people from all over to the area, and country, to check them out. The plant is native to the West Coast, but several have seemed to make their way to our coast. The reason these two have grown so tall at the beach, the climate and location.
“It’s in a prime location because it’s protected from the north wind by the balcony section. So it doesn’t get the extremes of the weather it’s pretty much almost a tropical ecosystem,” Doggett said.
The plant lives anywhere from 10 to 20 years, once it comes to the end of the road, it blooms then dies. But it does leave behind pups, or seeds, creating opportunities for the plant to grow.
Aside from the unique display, Doggett says the plant has another cool feature.
“Make tequila of course out of the heart,” Doggett said. “It’s a pretty big production. It takes about three years for it to ferment I guess.”
Doggett says he has a new plan for when the plants are done blooming.
“Can’t wait to take them down and put up banana trees or something different next year,” Doggett said.
If you are interested in having your own Century Plant, Doggett is giving away some of the seeds left behind. So swing by the Blockade Runner in the next few days if you want one!
There have also been agave sightings in Oak Island, and other areas across the Cape Fear.