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Century plant is "at least 30 feet by now": North Port home enjoys rare display

North Port Community Correspondent Victoria Scott spoke to a homeowner who said her "century plant," a type of agave, began an end-of-life growth spurt at the end of March.
Century plant in North Port
Posted at 10:04 PM, May 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-10 22:04:30-04

NORTH PORT, Fla. — You won't have to travel to Mexico or Texas to see a century plant.

North Port resident Joanne Lucibello has one on her property near N Cranberry Blvd.

So, North Port Community Correspondent Victoria Scott knew she had to report on the fairy tale-looking plant before it dies.

"We noticed it March 29," Lucibello told Scott.

North Port Agave homeowner century plant
Joanne Lucibello takes in the view of the massive agave in her front yard in North Port on May 10. The century plant began to bloom suddenly at the end of March 2024.

The unusual plant started to have huge growth spurts.

"I think it is 20 to 30, no, at least 30 feet by now," Lucibello said.

She and her husband bought their North Port home in 2014 and the large green spiky plant was already a front yard feature. They took it as just another tropical treat in their Florida life until late March of this year.

"All of a sudden, there was a big growth on it, and then I started keeping track of it," Joanne said.

Joanne took photos of her century plant every two days or so. She also started to learn a little more about it.

"They call it a century plant because it only blooms every 20 to 30 years, and then it dies," she said.

North Port Agave century plant
The sudden bloom on a century plant in a North Port yard reached high into the sky over the home in May 2024.

The century plant is also referred to as an Agave americana.

According to the University of Florida Ag-Extension, this plant can reach a height of around 30 feet tall. It's native to the U.S., usually Texas, and Mexico.

Lucibello told Scott her front yard friend is gaining traction on social media and throughout the neighborhood.

North Port agave century plant
Joanne Lucibello said her century plant was gaining a lot of traction on social media as she documented the blooming in front of her North Port home.

"Some people have stopped," she said. "My husband walks the dogs. They stopped my husband and said, 'That's some century plant you have there."

Don't tell the agave; but it's not Joanne's favorite plant.

"I would rather take care of a smaller plant," she said. "It burns and it turns your skin red. So, you don't want to have the liquid."

However, she's excited to see what the plant can do, even if it means the end for this particular agave.

"We're just waiting for it to blossom and see this beautiful flower that people have been telling us about," Joanne said.