University of Virginia Library



It is but a floral superstition, as everybody knows, that this plant flowers only once in a century. When in any instance the flowering is for decades delayed beyond the normal period, (eight or ten years at furthest) it is owing to something retarding in the environment or soil.

But few they were who came to see
The Century-Plant in flower:
Ten cents admission—price you pay
For bon-bons of the hour.


In strange inert blank unconcern
Of wild things at the Zoo,
The patriarch let the sight-seers stare—
Nor recked who came to view.
But lone at night the garland sighed
While moaned the aged stem:
“At last, at last! but joy and pride
What part have I with them?”
Let be the dearth that kept me back
Now long from wreath decreed;
But, Ah, ye Roses that have passed
Accounting me a weed!