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

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


Century plant
Agave parryi ssp. parryi

Century plant
Agave parryi ssp. parryi

Century plant
Agave parryi ssp. parryi

More Cacti and Succulents Questions

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

Growing Conditions for Yucca cernua
October 22, 2011 - Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua: I bought many lovely plants at the Wildflower Center sale on Friday, among them, a Nodding Yucca or Yucca cernua. 24 of the 25 plants I bought are already in the grou...
view the full question and answer

Century plants spread through offshots from Rye TX
September 20, 2010 - How do century plants spread? Are the little ones the babies?
view the full question and answer

Trimmng and fertilizing yucca
September 07, 2007 - Should I cut the stalks of the Yucca that have already bloomed or wait until they dry? How often should I fertilize?
view the full question and answer

Flying insects attacking yucca flacida in Wilmington NC
June 11, 2010 - How do I treat flying insects from eating the flowers on my Yucca Flaccida shrub.
view the full question and answer

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