Century plant in North


Rose Stroman Morris of North stands beneath her 40-foot century plant, which came into full bloom this month. The plant started to bloom in April, when she celebrated her 83rd birthday. Century plants, once thought to bloom every 100 years, actually flower once every 10 to 30 years, then die off shortly after blooming. Morris considers the blooming of her plant “a special gift from God.”

NORTH — Residents in the town of North are turning their attention to a spectacular show — the blooming of a century plant at the corner of Walnut

Street and Pecan Lane.

The century plant, a tall agave plant once thought to bloom every 100 years, is now in full bloom in Rose Stroman Morris’ yard.

Although it doesn’t actually take 100 years for a century plant to bloom, it is still a rare sight, only flowering once about every 10 to 30 years, according to Horticulture Unlimited’s website. Adding to its unique nature, the plant dies off shortly after it blooms.

Morris says she has always been intrigued with unusual plants. When she saw a century plant blooming many years ago near Eutawville, she just had to have one. So her son, Michael, and his wife, Faye, gave her a century plant for her birthday. The plant is more than 20 years old.

Since she had always believed the legend that century plants only bloom once in a century, Stroman said she never expected to see it bloom.

But in April this year when she celebrated her 83rd birthday, her century plant gave her an unexpected birthday gift as it began to send up a large stalk from its base. Stroman said It grew slowly but is now about 40 feet high. When it reached that height, the plant began to put out small branches with small buds on the ends, she said.

Everyone who has seen the plant has been following it with keen interest since every day there’s something new to see, Stroman says.

Buds formed on the branches the last of May, and it has taken until the middle of July for the century plant to come into full bloom, with greenish-yellow flowers on all its branches. Stroman has been taking photos to document its progress.

She said she considers the spectacular blooming of her century plant “a special birthday gift from God,” and she invites everyone to stop by to see it.

* Contact the writer: 803-539-8429.

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