Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

July 25, 2013

Bloom of a lifetime

By Janet Jacobs
Corsicana Daily Sun

Corsicana — Ruby Stewart has lived in Corsicana for 83 years, but 35 years ago she took a little trip to South Carolina and came home with a couple of plants. One of those plants suddenly shot up more than 20 feet into the air and blossomed for the first time.

It’s a century plant, a native of Central America, that blossoms only once then dies.

Stewart was surprised when the plant suddenly took on ladder-like dimensions in her backyard on North Fourth Street in Corsicana.

“It’s the first time it’s ever bloomed,” she said. “I’m so proud of it.”

She found the plant growing in her sister’s yard back in the 1970s while on a trip to visit and brought it back in her daddy’s car, along with a mountain cedar tree. Both plants are still thriving.

Once the century plant took off for the sky, Stewart began coming out to talk to it, affectionately naming it “CP,” short for Century Plant, of course. It’s a girl, Stewart likes to point out.

Although the plants are rare, they aren’t unheard of in this part of Texas. Stewart has given away dozens of CP’s babies to friends in the past. She’s keeping a few, though, that she has already planted in her yard. The three decades of watering and tending it are all worth it, she said.

“I was shocked, and amazed,” Stewart said.


Janet Jacobs may be reached via email at Want to “soundoff” to this article? Email: