Bloomin’ ‘eck! Plant grows 20ft in six weeks

July 15, 2010 | by | 0 Comments

A gardener was blooming overwhelmed after a plant flowered for the first time in two decades and then grew 20ft – in just SIX WEEKS.

Green-fingered Sadie Yates has seen her Agave plant shoot up like a ‘Triffid’ and is now four times her size since it suddenly came to life last month.

Sadie, of Paignton Devon, planted the Agave as a shrub in 1990 and had never seen it flower in 20 years.

But the stem of the plant first appeared six weeks ago and Sadie said it now ”towers” over her.

She said: ”We have waited patiently for years for this moment and it is great. It looks like a giant asparagus.

”Unfortunately, when it has finished flowering the whole plant will die. Happily I have others in the border.

”We watch it every day to see how tall it has grown. This is the first time we have had one flower here.”

Agaves are used to make tequila in their native Mexico – the flowers, leaves, the stalks and the sap are all edible.

During flowering a tall stem or ‘mast’ grows from the centre of the leaf rosette and bears a large number of short tubular flowers.

A spokesman for the Royal Horticultural Society said: ”The plants build up their resources over the years and when strong enough shoot up a great big stem.

”This uses up all its energy and it dies. Normally they would be happier in hotter climates such as Spain or Portugal but previous mild winters here are protecting them and allowing them to flourish.”

* The triffid is the highly-venomous fictional plant species created by John Wyndham in his 1951 novel ‘The Day of the Triffids’ which went on to be serialised on both TV and radio.

The word ‘triffid’ has become a popular British English term used to describe large or menacing looking plants.


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