Century plant expected to soon be in rare bloom in two towns in the Cape Fear

CAPE FEAR REGION, NC (WWAY) —A plant native to Mexico is expected to soon be in a rare bloom in two towns in the Cape Fear region. It is soon expected to bloom in Cerro Gordo and Kure Beach.

The “century plant” is also known as the Agave americana, and to see it bloom is a rare sight, since it blooms only once in its lifetime. The century plant blooms from anywhere between 10 years to 30 years, and thrives in dry environments.

Once its vibrant flowers bloom, the plant it sprouted from will soon die.

The Cerro Gordo Volunteer Fire Department had a century plant planted in front of the fire station in 2010, and has watched it grow well over 10 feet tall

“We set these here and they kind of overtook the bed, and it didn’t take long for it to for them to take off, and this one, –the one we first started with was about that big that had come up, and we planted three in there,” said Garrett Floyd, Cerro Gordo Volunteer Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief.

Assistant Fire Chief Garrett Floyd says they have been hoping for a chance to see it bloom since it was planted, and expect to see that wish granted in the next few days.

“It’s supposed to bloom once and die, that’s all I really know about it. Kind of excited to see it. Might actually think in the next day or so. I don’t know exactly how much bigger it’s going to get, we’re just waiting,” said Floyd.

Across the Cape Fear in Kure Beach, another century plant is expected to bloom soon.

Town resident Tim Holbrook said the plant was planted in his yard 20 years ago, by his neighbor and has flourished since. He said the century plant has drawn the attention of many passing by.

“It’s been really interesting how this has brought the community together. People ride bicycles, have chairs, and local artists will drive by and draw pictures and paint pictures and it’s just been a really fun story to connect with people,” said Tim Holbrook, Kure Beach resident.

He also looks forward to seeing its rare flowered form.

“It’s been 20 years. It’s looks like the asparagus to bloom, which probably in a month will come to full fruition, and there will be about 20 different blooms on it. That are about the size of of a basketball with beautiful vibrant colors,” said Holbrook.

According to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, when a century plant blooms, a single stalk will flower in the center of its leaves, which usually grow to between 15 ft. to 30 ft. tall.

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