‘Century Plant’ blooms for Swifts

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Photo by Sharon Rice

Photo by Sharon Rice

Jerry and Judy Swift converted their front yard on Redwood Dr. to drought-tolerant landscaping with cacti and succulents that produce unusual and exotic flowers.

One of the plants is agave americana, also known as a “century plant” because it flowers just once at the end of its long life (typically 10 to 30 years).

The Swifts’ century plant, which can be seen behind Jerry, reached a height of 17 feet. The stalk contains many small yellow blossoms that attract bees. The plant dies after flowering, but produces suckers or adventitious shoots from the base, which continue its growth.

Because the cactus is so large, usually only one is seen in home landscapes; however, a whole “forest” of these century plants recently was seen blooming at the Sun City Library.

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Sharon Rice