The Daily Mail states “Monster plant grows 5ft in a weekend and bursts through greenhouse roof“, in a somewhat sensationalist, mostly interesting, and unfortunately misleading article. Let me highlight a few of the statements.
“Monster plant grows 5ft in a weekend and bursts through greenhouse roof”
It’s true that when the Maguey or Century Plant goes to seed, the stem does grow quickly, but who gave them permission to call it a “monster plant”? I think kudzu is more of a monster plant.
“A rare Mexican plant which flowers only once in its lifetime has bloomed in Britain.”
This photo:Wikipedia (Since I couldn’t find any of my own shots of flowering magueys at the moment.)
Anyone who has visited Mexico or the Southwestern US, knows this plant is by no means rare. It might only bloom once, but with so many of them around, the flowers are a common sight.
“It has grown steadily to dominate the south-eastern corner of the display, its crown of rather untidy but impressive succulent leaves spewing out across the gravel like some monstrous creation from the Little Shop of Horrors.”
I’ll cut them some slack because they obviously haven’t seen one of these plants before. But “Little Shop of Horrors”? What’s that? It just looks like a big Aloe Vera plant.
“Agave americana, which became known as the Century Plant in the mistaken belief that it blossomed only once in 100 years” …//… “The rush of sap which fuels the speedy growth of the plant is used to produce tequila.”
Yes, technically this plant is an Agave, but it’s *not* the variety used to produce Tequila. Tequila and Mescal are both produced from different versions of the Agave plant and this version, the Maguey, is not one of them. It is however used to produce Pulque, which you should try next time you’re in central Mexico.
But maybe the one most important thing you should know about this plant is– It’s not a cactus.