This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V26", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
For the past eighteen months I have been very carefully watching (what appears to me) a very strange freak of an Agave, we believe to be Xylin-acantha macrantha. At that time, while carefully looking over our collection for the sake of supplying new labels where required, I found the heart of this plant had become very considerably enlarged, and this, apparently, at the cost of the leaves; for these, though green, were reduced fully one-third of their natural size. I at once decided that my plant would die. This was January, 1883. About the end of May, after our collection of Agaves were planted out, I noticed a something springing from the ground, about one foot from this Agave, very strongly resembling a strong head of asparagus. I did not cut it away at the time, and in a few days I became convinced it was a blooming stem of an Agave. It made a stem three feet six inches high, bloomed, and produced seeds, from which I have young Agaves growing. On showing this to the late Dr G. Engelmann, he considered it a thing of very rare occurrence, and thought it would in all probability bloom from its centre the following year and die. But the plant remains in exactly the same condition as it was a year ago.
Not an atom of further development in any part of the plant has taken place, neither does it show the slightest sign of decay; and the blooming stem, instead of drying up, after it had matured its seeds, remains as fresh and green as in June of last year. Have you known of a similar case to this? Gardener to H. Shaw, Esq., St. Louis, Mo.