Tag Archives: G.Q. Coplin

From the Archives: Life Through Dying

By G. Q. Coplin

The student of botany is familiar with a species of plant known as the agave. This name is from the Greek, and means illustrious. The same plant is now commonly known as the century plant. It received this name because it was supposed to live one hundred years, at the expiration of which it put on its bloom. No one has seen this plant at its best without admiring its stateliness and beauty. However. the idea that the century plant does not bloom until it is a hundred years old is a mistake, for it often sends up its tall spike of flowers when only a few years old; but no sooner does it blossom than the plant begins to wither and die. It has reached the object and goal of its existence, and so it passes away. But from that tall spike falls the matured seed, and a hundred new plants spring up from the soil about the mother stalk. The parent plant gave up its life that new life might spring up in its stead. It meant sacrifice on the part of the old plant, but through its death, life has sprung up a hundredfold. Had the parent plant continued to live this would have been impossible. Continue reading