It’s one of nature’s late developers. The century plant, a giant agave succulent, which takes decades to mature, has burst into flower in two parks in Tokyo.
Native to the Americas, agaves were installed at Musashino’s Inokashira Park Zoo in western Tokyo in 1962.
One bloomed four years ago and in May this year another sprang into life. An asparagus-like stem emerged and within two months had reached eight meters in height.
That stalk now bears about 30 clusters of flowers. They’re yellow-green and lack conventional petals.
The lofty plant makes an arresting sight adjacent to a bird house at the zoo in western Tokyo.
But if the city center is more convenient for you, pay a visit to the waterside Hamarikyu Gardens in Tokyo's Chuo Ward, where two more century plants are blooming.
They’re currently propped up with bamboo poles and the flowers are shrouded to prevent damage by nectar-seeking birds.
But blink and you might miss it. This venerable plant blooms only until late this month; it then dies.
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