Agave Americana in Bloom
There is currently a rare chance to see an Americana Agave plant flowering at the Muttart Conservatory.
The desert plant, named Beila, has spent 35 years in the Arid Pyramid.
Now that she has grown a 30-foot stalk producing light yellow blossoms the plant will die in a matter of months.
Visitors will only be able to see the Agave in blossom for a few weeks.
About the Agave
Agave Americana plants have a lifespan of between seven and 40 years. The lifespan depends on factors such as variety, location, water, light and temperature. The Agave is native to the semi-arid regions of the United States and Mexico so appreciates a warm, dry climate.
The Muttart Conservatory's Agave is named Beila, which means beautiful in Spanish. It was introduced as a two-gallon potted succulent and planted by James McIvor and Bob Dixon in 1977.
Beila's flower stalk became visible on August 1, 2012 and resembled a new asparagus shoot. It was known then that Beila would undergo a dramatic transformation. The weather in early August was hot and sunny so that contributed to the rapid growth of the flower stalk in the Arid Pyramid.
The Agave first started budding in November. Flowering can take several months from start to finish but the cooler nights and shorter days under the glass pyramid could extend this period.
Three bulbils, or small offsets, grown at the base of the mother plant will be used to grow new plants. There are no insects in the Arid Pyramid to pollinate the flowers so the offsets are the only way to ensure a new generation of Agaves.
For more information:
Muttart Conservatory9626 - 96A Street
If you are outside Edmonton call: 780-442-5311