80-year-old agave plant to bloom in Ann Arbor - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

80-year-old agave plant to bloom in Ann Arbor

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The tip of the agave stalk that will bloom within the next few weeks. The tip of the agave stalk that will bloom within the next few weeks.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WJBK) - Spring flowers are blooming across metro Detroit right now, but the granddaddy of them all is in Ann Arbor.

It's an 80-year-old agave plant from the desert of Mexico and it's about to bloom for its first - and only - time. It's located inside the Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

At the time of FOX 2's Robin Schwartz's report, the plant's stalk was about 18 feet tall. Just a few days after, the stalk had grown so much more employee had to remove part of the greenhouse's roof.

No one knows when the plant will bloom for sure, but experts say it should be in the next few weeks.

Once the plant blooms, however, it will die.

"It saves up all of its energy over the years and then once there's enough energy it blooms, puts all of that energy into the seeds and then dies of exhaustion," explains curator David Michener.

The blooms are expected to be yellowish-green in color, and many are hoping the plant will produce pups and thousands of seeds.

Online: http://www.lsa.umich.edu/mbg/see/matthaei.Asp

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