Bill Keye

SacBee Garden

Published: Saturday, May. 25, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 7CALIFORNIA LIFE
Last Modified: Tuesday, May. 28, 2013 - 10:28 am

Sacramento Bee readers share their gardening adventures.

Century plants fascinate California gardeners. But Sacramento's Bill Keye has one Agave americana he thinks deserves a place in record books locally – if not the world.

"I measured it at 39 feet tall," Keye said of the plant's flower stalk. "I'm a forester, so I stand by that figure."

Keye, who lives in the Arden Arcade area, has nicknamed his century plant "the world's tallest."

"The flower is incredibly tall," he said. "I've been inviting friends over to see it. It's growing through oak trees; I think that's why it's so tall."

Misnamed, century plants typically live 20 to 30 years before sending up a single flower stalk. Usually, those stalks reach no more than 15 to 20 feet; the tallest average 28 feet.

The leaves of Keye's agave are enormous, too. Several are more than 8 feet long.


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