Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Wednesday - May 02, 2007

From: Ooltewah, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: General Botany, Cacti and Succulents
Title: 20 years to bloom
Answered by: Damon Waitt

QUESTION:

My girlfriend and i have come up with an interesting question, we were wondering if there is a plant in existance that takes over 20 years to bloom, and how many different kinds (if any) there are? We have bien pondering this for quite some time now and we can't figure out what to search for, any help would be greatly appreciated.

ANSWER:

There are a large number of plants that take over twenty years to bloom. For example, many Agaves typically bloom every 8 to 20 years. The plant produces a single flower stalk 10 feet tall during the spring or summer and then dies. Colonies are maintained by "pups" or offsets that grow from the base of parent plants. Many species of bamboo can take even longer to bloom. Bamboo goes from 20 to over 100 years between flowering. Try searching the web for "Century Plant" or "Bamboo" to learn more about these species.

 

From the Image Gallery


Parry's agave
Agave parryi

Havard's century plant
Agave havardiana

Maguey mezortillo
Agave univittata

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

Ingestion of agave sap from Albuquerque NM
June 11, 2013 - My boyfriend was out in the Arizona desert without water for two days and sought moisture through what he thought was a yucca plant but instead we believe was agave. He sucked the moisture off the ins...
view the full question and answer

Possibly non-native succulent identification
March 27, 2008 - My mother has a plant that grows on a stalk, 2.5' tall, leaves are about 4-5" on the mature plant. The leaves are scalloped on the edges and seeds grown in the scallops & fall off and make new plan...
view the full question and answer

Plants for big pots by pool in Austin
August 14, 2012 - Could you please suggest some plants to put in big pots out by my pool? They will get lots of heat and sun. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Container plant in difficult sun exposure from Leander TX
June 06, 2014 - HELP!!!! I have a large Mexican terracotta pot on my front porch. This awkward area is facing westward, so receives the full dose of Texas sun after about 3 pm onward. Now here's the catch; my fr...
view the full question and answer

Topmost leaves on yucca are brown
June 08, 2009 - I live in the Lansing, Michigan area, in the lower peninsula and have a couple yuccas whose topmost leaves are brown emerging from winter. Do I prune those, or has the plant died? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.