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What’s wrong? Agave in Garfield Park.Its stems are blowing beyond all expectations | Chicago News

An upward orbital “Guien” taken on December 26, 2021. The stem grows 3-4 inches a day. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

For floralist Ray Jogensen, 2022 gives him a serious case of déjà vu.

It was around this time in 2019 that Jorgensen, who tended to plant in the Desert House of the Garfield Park greenhouse, began to witness. Amazing growth of agave “Death Flowering” — Agave stems sprout for once-in-a-lifetime flowering before the plant calls it quit.

That particular agave, called Maya, eventually reached 38 feet. Its stem, called Quiote, literally broke through the glass roof of the greenhouse.

Jorgensen pulls the ladder again to carry the tape measure as another agave, which is called Gien (pronounced “Gwen”) and reaches an unknown height.

“Will it be old? No, it’s not at all,” Jorgensen said. “Very cool and impressive.”

In 22 years in the conservatory, Jorgensen saw only a handful of agave flowers, most of them maximal in less than 10 feet. “Maya was very big,” he said.

Gien is a completely different species, agave, and Jorgensen has no experience in what to expect.So of the plants quiote first appeared in December, He found that many are thinking of the Agave Bible.Agaves in North America.. “

According to the text, the spikes should peak at 4-6 feet. Another reliable source Raised the bar to 8-10 feet.

Guien has blown away both of these estimates. He said the stems on Tuesday when WTTW News spoke to Jorgensen were 14.5 feet in size, an increase of 3-4 inches a day.

Not to mention when she will stop. “This plant has more to do and is growing,” Jorgensen said.

Most of the literature on agave is related to observing behavior “in habitat”. Jorgensen does not have much authority to compare and share notes, as not many greenhouses are as large as greenhouses with similar plants.

“It’s a guessing game,” he said.

At 15 feet "Gien" Blowed off her peak height estimates in the range of 6 to 10 feet. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)At 15 feet, “Guien” blew away her peak height estimates in the range of 6 to 10 feet. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

Is there anything in the air or soil of the conservatory that has reached out to Gien? Is it all the ruin that the plant received? “This is like an agave spa,” Jorgensen joked.

Still, “it’s difficult to call the optimal conditions in the Midwest,” he said. Even taking into account the greenhouse’s ability to control temperature and humidity levels, the lack of strong sunlight is not ideal, he said.

At some point, Guien’s stems stop growing and pale yellow flowers (those that Jorgensen has never seen) cover quiete. After flowering, the plant withers and Jorgensen can fill another hole.

“Damn these agave, they have to stop,” he said.

But it’s a month, two months, or more. Today he has daily measurements to log and maybe he will give Gien a bath. Some construction was underway in the desert house, and she became dusty.

As he said, she is spoiled

To track Guien’s progress, follow Garfield Park Conservatory’s Agave Syrup. Instagram.. As a prospect, the following is Guien in early December.

Guien in early December 2021 when the stem first appeared. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)Guien in early December 2021 when the stem first appeared. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)


Contact Patty Wetli: @pattywetli | (773) 509-5623 | [email protected]



What’s wrong? Agave in Garfield Park.Its stems are blowing beyond all expectations | Chicago News

Source link What’s wrong? Agave in Garfield Park.Its stems are blowing beyond all expectations | Chicago News

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