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Old 2021-05-29, 13:03   #95
xilman's Avatar
May 2003
Down not across

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Originally Posted by Dr Sardonicus View Post
The ornamental Agave americana is commonly known as the "century plant," although it usually only grows for 10-20 years before it flowers and dies.

Fargesia nitida seems much more deserving of the name.

A plant that only flowers and goes to seed once in its life cycle is called a "monocarp."

In 2015, a specimen at the University of Michigan's Matthaei Botanical Gardens bloomed and died after having lived for 80 years.
A. americana flowers much younger in optimum growing conditions. At the limits of its range it can indeed take a century or more to flower.

Some plants are growing happily in gardens outdoors only 2km from here; some of mine are kept out over winter in their pots. The species survives overnight temperatures down to -10C and daytime max of -3C for a few weeks at a time as long as they are kept dry. It's ice that kills them, not sub-zero temperatures per se. The variegated variety isn't as hardy as the glaucous blue but it mine still stay out for most of the winter, being dragged under cover only when particularly cold nights are predicted.

It's a shame that A. attenuata isn't really frost hardy and has to be brought undercover each winter. That said, a brief excursion as low as 0C doesn't seem to do them much harm.
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