The agave Americana is in bloom in Lakewood. (Photo by Jaime Dunaway.)

One of the largest Texas agave plants is in bloom in our neighborhood. If you miss it, you’ll have to wait decades to see it blossom again.

The agave Americana, also known as the century agave, is blooming in an alley near the intersection of Blue Valley Lane and Cambria Boulevard, just south of Mockingbird Lane.

The name, however, is a bit of a misnomer because the plant doesn’t live 100 years. Its lifespan is between 10-30 years and blooms just once, right before it dies.

Its leaves, which are a blue, gray or green color, are tipped with prickly teeth and arranged in a rosette. When the plant is ready to bloom, yellow-green flowers blossom on a stalk that can grow up to 15 feet high.

It may seem like the strange-looking plant sprouted out of a Dr. Seuss book, but it is native to Mexico and blooms all across the southwestern United States.

In fact, two other agave Americanas have bloomed in Forest Hills and Little Forest Hills. The first was in the 9200 Block of Forest Hills Boulevard in 2013, and the second was at Tavaros Avenue and San Leandro Drive in 2017.


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