A Bloom Before Death at the Muttart Conservatory
October 04, 2012
A 35-year-old desert plant in the Muttart Conservatory’s Arid Pyramid is getting ready to bear clusters of light yellow flowers for the first and only time before it dies. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see the impressive final stage of this plant about to perish in the most beautiful way.
The first flower shoot of the plant, an Americana Agave named “Beila” by staff at the Muttart, became visible on August 1, 2012. Thanks to hot, sunny weather, it now nearly touches the top of the pyramid. Flowering can take several months from start to finish but the cooler nights and shorter days could extend this period.
Beila was introduced as a two-gallon potted succulent and planted in 1977. The Agave is native to the semi-arid regions of the United States and Mexico.
The Americana Agave plant has a lifespan of between 7 and 40 years.
There are 3 small shoots starting to grow at the base of the mother plant. Since there are no insects in the Arid Pyramid to pollinate the flowers, these offsets will be used to grow new plants for a new generation of Agaves.
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