Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

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

Sunday - June 24, 2012

From: N. Topsail Beach, NC
Region: Southeast
Topic: Seed and Plant Sources, Cacti and Succulents
Title: Source for Century Plant in Wilmington NC
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

Where can I buy a Century plant in the Wilmington NC area?

ANSWER:

There are 9 different species of the genus Agave that are referred to as "century" plants. This has reference to the fact that this plant lives for anywhere from 8 to 40 years (not a century) before it blooms, after which it dies. None of the agaves are native to North Carolina, not even close. Arbitrarily, we will choose Agave parryi ssp. parryi (Century plant) as an example. It grows natively in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in desert conditions, which probably explains why you are having trouble locating some place that sells it. Follow the plant link to our webpage on this plant, where you will learn it gets really BIG, spiny and unforgiving.

To locate a plant in your area, you will need to find a merchant specializing in succulents and cacti. Even then, they may mostly stock succulents and miniature cacti for indoor use, which the Agave is not.

However, since you ask, go to our National Suppliers Directory, type your town and state or zip code in the "Enter Search Location" box and you will get a list of native plant nurseries, seed suppliers and landscape consultants in your general area. All have contact information, so you can call before you start shopping.

 

From the Image Gallery


Parry's agave
Agave parryi ssp. parryi

Parry's agave
Agave parryi ssp. parryi

Parry's agave
Agave parryi ssp. parryi

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

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

Growing Native Cactus Indoors in Dallas
December 17, 2015 - I have a Chihuahuan fishhook cactus (Sclerocactus uncinatus), a pincushion cactus (Epithelantha micromeris) and a horse crippler (Echinocactus texensis), which I bring in for the winter, since they te...
view the full question and answer

Winterizing non-native sedum in Saskatchewan CA
October 31, 2011 - What should be done to winterize a autumn joy (sedum)?
view the full question and answer

Plants for planting in gourds
March 15, 2009 - I enjoy painting dried gourds. This spring I got the idea to paint a gourd and cut holes in the side and plant some small blooming flowers. I have seen "hen and chickens" growing out of holes in the...
view the full question and answer

Transplanting agave in Austin
September 22, 2009 - I have an 8 foot tall agave (americana?) planted in my front yard. It has been there quite happily for over 20 years. How would I go about transplanting this to another location? Thanks!
view the full question and answer

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