THERE is no mistaking the star attraction in Noela Nitschke's South Grafton garden, but if you do miss it this time around don't hold your breath waiting to see it again.
Rising like a spear into the sky is the amazing flower stem of Noela's royal agave (agave victoriae-reginae), that has now reached 2.2m and its growth is showing no signs of slowing.
The spear started growing late in October and has been rising at a rate about 17cm a day since.
The normally slow-growing royal agave has not shown any such activity since Noela bought it at Woolworths about 24 years ago. It has been in the same pot for the past 21 years.
"It is starting to look a little stressed, there can't be much soil left in the pot after all those years," she said.
The royal agave, which reportedly flowers every 20-30 years, hails from Mexico, where it is now protected having been in danger from over-collecting.
"We're not sure what will happen next or when the flowers might appear," Noela said. "The plant will probably die after it has flowered."
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