After so many people stopped at his house to ask what kind of plant was growing in his front yard near Dreher Island, Gerald Brantley decided to put up a sign. Neighbors have been inquiring and stopping by to take pictures since the plant bloomed.
Gerald Brantley posed earlier this week in front of the century plant blooming at his Chapin home. More than 150 people have stopped to take photos of the 30-foot-tall bloom. He transplanted it from his mother's house in Georgia more than 20 years ago.
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In the agave family, the century plant is native to tropical America but naturalized elsewhere, having very large spiny grayish leaves and greenish flowers on a tall fleshy stalk. It blooms only once in its life, after 10 to 30 years, not a century as was once thought. The century plant provided Native Americans with a source of soap, food, fiber, medicine and weapons. The plant dies after it blooms, but small "pups" or sprouts at its base carry on.