Since ages, we have heard good things take time but are always worth the wait. Some flowers share a similar story and take much time before blossoming yet makes it a lifetime experience. Let’s take a look on such flowers.
Agave Parryi or Parry’s Agave is another slow-growing agave found in parts of Arizona and Mexico. It is also widely recognized as the century plant because it is a slow bloomer like its peer agave. It takes ten to fifteen years to bloom and not a whole century. Parry has a dense rosette of beautiful blue-gray sword-shaped leaves with a dark colored spine. It is a compact plant, however, when it is about to flower a humongous stalk rises from each rosette and beautiful creamy yellow flowers can be seen on the branches of the stalk. The best time to witness the blossom is from June to August, but after flowering, the plant dies which makes this a lugubrious event.
Next on the list is the plant which is popularly known as elkweed, deer's ears, and monument plant. It is an extraordinary tall, robust plant that is typically found in meadows, foothills, montane and alpine zones. Like many plants on the list, it is also a monocarpic plant, which takes many years to grow and produce flowers once in their lifetime and then dies. It has a robust, unbranched stem that grows up to 8 feet and contains the long and pointed clustered green leaves that are arranged in a spiral pattern; unlike the basal leaves which have rounded tips. It usually takes 20 to 80 years to produce elegant star shaped white and pale green flowers. Monument Plant has many medicinal uses which make it even more popular amongst the locals.
When Haleakala Silverswords blooms, it creates one of the most eye-catching phenomena with a display of vibrant colors. However, one has to wait nearly 15 to 50 years to witness this spectacular event. This succulent flora manages to thrive in the harsh climate of Mount Haleakala in Hawaii. It has thick leaves which are covered with shiny silver parabolic shaped hairs. When it nears its flowering it produces a flowering stalk that is nearly three meters tall, and 75 centimeters wide and bears maroon ray flowers similar to the sunflower before its demise. Due to cattle grazing as well as environmental changes its delicate roots are getting damaged, it has become a part of endangered species.
Queen of Andes
Also known as Puya Raimondi is one of the rare and endangered species and is found in the high Andes. It is one of the slowest bloomers as it nearly takes 80 to 150 years to flower. When it is about to bloom, it grows up to 40 feet. Each stalk shoots from the center of a dense rosette of slender shaped leaves with sharp spikes on which creamy white and a greenish purple flower grow after which the plant dies. Unlike its peers, it does not produce any offshoots rather it yields seed only which explains the rarity of this plant.
Titan arum or corpse plant is native to the rainforests of Sumatra, Indonesia. Corpse flower got its name because of its unsatisfying odor of rotten egg and fish. When the flowers are ready for pollination, it emits this scent to attract pollinators. This plant needs 7 to 10 years to grow before blooming. It grows 10 to 12 feet tall with a bloom diameter of up to 5 feet. When the plant blooms, it is a delightful sight to watch, however, it lasts only for two to three days. The flower does not die after blooming like many on the list.
Kurinji is among the slow flowering plants. It is a large shrub, also seen as a star in the large Strobilanthes genus, that is found in the Western Ghats of India. Kurinji or Neelakurinji blossoms only once in 12 years. Flowers of Neelakurinji are purple-blue in color, and it is after these flowers Niligiri mountains were named. When Kurinji is in full blushing bloom, it paints the whole Nilgiri in shades of blue. If you do not want to wait for 12 long years, one can buy turquoise flowers or blue artificial orchids as Kurinji’s replacement.
One of the other slow bloomers of agave family is Agave Americana, popularly known as century plant or American aloe. It got its name "American aloe" because it resembles Aloe family. However, it is not at all related to plants in the genus Aloe. It is native to the deserts of Mexico but is grown throughout the world as an ornamental plant. Its lifetime varies from 10 to 30 years, and after flowering, it dies. In the years of maturing, it has long, sharp gray-green leaves. When the plant matures, it produces a towering high branched stalk bearing massive clusters of yellow flowers. Such an occurrence is an unforgettable sight.
Pachypodium Iamerei or Madagascar palm is another late bloomer of the palm family. Though named palm it is a succulent plant from Apocynaceae family. It has a silvery trunk with long and very sharp spines. The top of the plant is palm-like which branches out and blooms with beautiful white star-shaped flowers in summer. However, the flowering takes place only once. If grown as a house-pant it will slowly reach a height not more 2 meters, but outdoors it develops large with flowers with a good fragrance.
Corypha umbraculifera commonly known as Talipot palm is mostly found in Sri-Lanka and South India. These are large flowering plants which flower once in 30-80 years which makes it one of the rarest among palm. It has an inflorescence with grows roughly to 6-8 meters. Its large sized leaves provide shelter, and golden colored flowers make a loud noise and odor. It is a monocarpic plant and dies soon after blooming.