Jul 15 2010
It’s not every day you can see an indoor plant bust through the roof and keep on going.
Century plants grow as a rosette of leaves without flowering for 10 to 60 years (depends on climate). When the plant is ready to bloom it shoots up a stalk as much as 26 feet tall, then produces flowers and dies. The stalk on the plant at Phipps is so tall they had to remove part of the glass roof to let it keep growing.
In this photograph it wasn’t flowering yet, but I hear it’s doing so now. That means you don’t have much time left to see it. Just like the American Columbo, it will die after it blooms.
To see the entire plant you’ll have to visit two places at Phipps. The bottom of the plant is in the Desert Room, the top is visible from the Japanese Garden.
Though this particular plant is less spectacular from a distance, you can see it from the street at Schenley Park Visitors Center. Here’s what it would probably look like if it grew outdoors.
Visit Phipps Conservatory to see it.
(photo by Bonnie Jeanne Tibbetts)
p.s. Do you see the bird? Look at the lower branches on the left side of the Century plant. Does that bird have a crest? Is it a cardinal?