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Century plant undergoes rare blooming in South Carolina

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Gerald Brantley stands in front of his century plant. (The State)

The century plant, a tall agave plant once thought to bloom every 100 years, is now on full display at one South Carolina house.

The State reports that Gerald Brantley has put up a sign directing tourists to the Agave americana, aka century plant, growing in his front yard. Although it doesn't actually take 100 years for the plant to bloom, it is still a rare sight to behold, only flowering once about every 10 to 30 years. Adding to its unique nature, the plant dies off shortly after it blooms.

Brantley says he transported the nearly 30-foot-tall plant from his mother's home in Georgia about 20 years ago. The century plant is normally about 6 feet tall but experiences rapid growth as it begins to bloom.

Brantley says more than 150 people have already stopped by to view it since it began blooming. After the century plant dies, small sprouts at its base begin to carry on the long growing cycle.

Once grown for medicinal purposes, the century plant is now typically cultivated for ornamental purposes.

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