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Rare blooms turning heads in Bedford County

By Joe Dashiell, jdashiell@wdbj7.com
Published On: Jul 19 2013 07:24:29 PM EDT
Updated On: Jul 19 2013 09:25:10 PM EDT

More common in the southwestern United States, the century plant flowers just once near the end of its life.

BEDFORD CO., Va. -

There's plenty to appreciate in Stella and James Brown's front yard, but it isn't the fountain, or the wind chimes or the angel turning heads here.

It's the two century plants that now tower over their driveway.

"Started out just about like that," Stella Brown gestured. "It just kept shooting up. Looked like a pole up there or something. And then the arms started coming out of it. "

More common in southern states and other hot climates, the century plant flowers just once near the end of its life.

Stella Brown's grandmother brought one back from a trip to Texas in the early '60s.
Her aunt passed one along about ten years ago. This is the first time the Browns have seen a century plant bloom at their Bedford County home, and they've marveled at how fast it's grown.

"It's only been about three weeks, four at the most," James Brown told us. "You wouldn't think something that tall would come out of that plant."

Located along Route 122 near Moneta, the plant is hard to miss, and many people have stopped at the Browns' home to get a closer look.

The plants that are blooming now will die soon, but the Browns have other century plants growing in the same area, and they're hoping that in a couple of years, they might see a repeat performance.