Plant’s Lone Bloom Draws A Crowd

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (July 22, 2014) A plant housed at the University of Michigan for the past 80 years is about halfway through its first and only flowering process and
Matthaei Botanical Gardens horticulture manager Mike Palmer says the American agave has 10 to 14 more days of blooming.

Conservatory workers have been pollinating the agave by hand because its natural pollinators, the Mexican long-nosed bat and different types of moths, aren’t available.

Once the flowering process is complete, the 28-foot-plant will die.

Native to Mexico and the American Southwest, the agave has been a hit in Ann Arbor since it started growing rapidly taller in April, an indicator it was preparing to bloom.

Visitor Carol Marantette of Grosse Pointe said she was excited to see a "once-in-a-lifetime" occurrence.

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