Impressive ‘century plant’ has started flowering at Trebah Garden

October 24th, 2016

One of the most impressive succulent plants, Agave americana, has started flowering at Trebah Garden, which is located close to our Falmouth resort. Also known as the ‘century plant’ it is thought to flower only once every 100 years.

However, this is a misleading name, as it usually flowers after 20 to 30 years of storing food reserves in its leaves. Once the agave flowers it then dies.

The flower spike which is just emerging will reach a height of nine metres in a short space of time, growing at around 30 centimetres a day, with a branched stalk covered in yellow flowers up to ten centimetres long. The seed pods then have fruit up to five centimetres long, with black seeds.

The agave plant has moved around in its life at Trebah and has had to be craned in and out to move it from the rockeries it had been planted in.

The head gardener at Trebah Darren Dickey said: “I have worked at Trebah now for 25 years. I was promoted to head gardener in 2002 and coincidentally at that time was heavily involved in the landscaping and planting around the new visitor centre including the creation of the new rockery area.

“When I first started at Trebah in 1991 the old rockery display was well established with big specimen plants including the agave in question. I have been waiting 25 years for this moment and I am very excited.”

Visitors to Trebah Garden will have a chance to see the agave in bloom until the end of November at the latest. The garden is just a short drive from our cottages located outside Falmouth, many of which include hot tubs.

Photo by: Lino M