So, you think you’re old? Well, you’re probably not as old as a Century Plant. I like to think of it as the seasoned citizen of naturally growing plants in the Texas Hill Country. Also called the Flowering Aloe, the Spiked Aloe, the American Aloe, and Maguey (not to be confused with Mr. Maguey). It is the largest agave plant in Texas and let me tell you, it is fabulous!
They really don’t live for a hundred years but they do live for ten to twenty five years. They have long sharply pointed leaves that can grow as high as six feet tall. At the end of its marvelous life, the century plant has its last hurrah as a long pointy stalk shoots out and up from the center. This can grow as high as fifteen feet tall. Just when you least expect it, the stalk erupts with colorful flowers. Our Hummingbirds seem to really enjoy them. Sadly when the flowers and seed pods fall off, the plant dies. Fear not, because when this happens new plants spring up and start the process all over.
So here’s where I relate this to life experiences (you knew I was going to). When our family members become old and eventually are called home, their magnificent offspring shoot out and start the life process all over again. So, as with the Century Plant, our children live on and keep our existence alive. I know, I know, it’s deep, but that’s just the way I roll. You may not live for a century, but if you live a good, healthy, and productive life, you’ll carry on and much like the Century Plant, you’ll be remembered.
Most people don’t know that many parts of the Century Plant are edible. And don’t forget about what my friend, Kinky Friedman, calls Mexican Mouthwash. That’s right, tequila. Oh, and his Man In Black tequila – drink it and you might just live a for century (or think you have)!