From:austin, TX Region: Southwest Topic: Cacti and Succulents Title: Semelparous: plant that dies after reproduces. Agave and bamboo. Answered by: Damon Waitt
There is a term for a plant who lives its life (usually more than 2 years) sends up a spectacular flowering structure, and then dies. what is that term? a certain plant that falls into that category is Agave americana. please let me know Mr. Smarty Plants!
Mr. Smarty Plants believes the term you are lookig for is semelparous. It is used to describe an organism that reproduces just once during its lifetime, after which death is inevitable. Examples include annual and biennial plants but also some longer lived plants like Agaves and Bamboo. This reproductive strategy is sometimes referred to as "Big Bang" reproduction, one Big output of offspring then you go out with a Bang. The opposite, of course, is iteroparous where an organism has multiple reproductive events during their lifetime.
More Cacti and Succulents Questions
No blooms on Spineless Prickly Pear in Austin June 07, 2012 - I've had a spineless prickly pear planted in the shade for about 3 years. It has done just fine there, but has never bloomed. I recently moved it to a full sun location(I'm in north Austin) and cove... view the full question and answer
Damage to yucca in San Marcos TX October 18, 2010 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, thank you for helping me with my buffalo grass is San Marcos TX back in the spring, my lawn is gorgeous thanks to you!
I really need your help as someone sabotaged my beauti... view the full question and answer
Can I trim back my 20 ft Yucca plant? May 11, 2009 - I have a yucca tree which is about 20 ft. tall, has four main trunks. I would like to prune it to approx. 10 ft. but wonder if that will kill it or if new shoots will come out up near the cut. view the full question and answer