En EspaŅol

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
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
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

Loss of agaves to freezing weather in Austin
March 04, 2011 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants: I live in Austin and lost all my agaves in the subfreezing weather this winter. Around town, I've noticed some agaves that seemed to tolerate the cold just fine and other tha...
view the full question and answer

Why is my Agave suffering in Mesa, Arizona?
August 06, 2009 - I live in Mesa AZ, and have an agave that we planted 7 years ago. It grew like crazy with hardly any care whatsoever, until I cut off some of the bottom leaves and 'pups' about a month ago. Recently...
view the full question and answer

Can I have success planting Adams Needle in Calgary, Alberta? Maybe.
March 23, 2009 - I live in Calgary, Alberta and am wondering if I could have success planting Adams Needle in this climate (lots of chinook winds in the winter with large fluctuations in temperatures).
view the full question and answer

Dealing with beetles feeding on cholla cactus
June 20, 2010 - Hi Mr. Smarty Pants, I bought a Cylindropuntia imbricata from the Wildflower center and it was growing like crazy. I recently noticed a lot of beetles feeding on it. Some are black and some are gra...
view the full question and answer

Spanish Dagger plant interfering with walkway in Ingram TX
April 09, 2010 - I have a Spanish Dagger that is now 8 feet tall and about to fall over in a walkway. Due to the danger of these very sharp tips I need to either cut down the plant or try to root in and replant. If ...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center