century plant


: a Mexican agave (Agave americana) that takes many years to mature, flowers only once, and then dies

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Probably sooner than later your agave plant, also known as the century plant, is going to flower as can be detected by its size in an accompanying photo. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 1 Oct. 2022 Most likely your agave is the sensational century plant that grows a flower stalk to twenty feet high. Tom Maccubbin, Orlando Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2022 Agave deserti, commonly called the century plant, though my private name for it is suicide bloom, since the whole plant will die after this display, after its bushy yellow panicles spread as high as 30 feet into the sky. Claire Vaye Watkins, Outside Online, 15 May 2017 The agave, a type of century plant, lives a long life — then blooms once and dies. Los Angeles Times, 10 Nov. 2020 These insects bore into the bases of the leaves of large species of agaves, most notably Agave americana (century plants) and lay their eggs. Neil Sperry, ExpressNews.com, 2 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'century plant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of century plant was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near century plant

Cite this Entry

“Century plant.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/century%20plant. Accessed 5 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition

century plant

: a Mexican agave maturing and flowering only once in many years and then dying
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