Century plant at Wichita State now in bloom

A century plant at Wichita State University that sent up a flower stalk earlier this summer is now in bloom.

The plant had been living in a Wichita State University greenhouse for 36 years, but when it decided to finally flower in mid-June and sent up the flower stalk, it was moved outside so that people could watch.

The stalk grew at a rate of as much as a foot a day above the 7-foot-tall plant, reaching perhaps 15 feet. The plant can be seen at the apex of the Fairmount entrance garden, in the circle drive in front of the Ulrich Museum of Art, off 17th Street east of Hillside.

The century plant is a type of agave that can’t survive our winters outdoors. A bloom generally portends the death of the plant.