century plant
Photo: Hamarikyu Gardens

The rare blooming century plant at Hamarikyu Gardens is now flowering

The succulent blooms only once in its lifetime for about a month before it dies – go see it now

Tabea Greuner
Written by
Tabea Greuner
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Agave americana, more commonly known as century plant, is a type of succulent that blooms only once in its lifetime. Century plants in Japan can reach 50 years in age and it only flowers towards the end of its life cycle. Unfortunately, the plant withers shortly after.

century plant
Photo: Hamarikyu Gardens

You can now witness this very rare spectacle at Tokyo’s Hamarikyu Gardens. The flower stalk of one of the park’s century plants has been growing – around 10 centimetres per day – since mid-May. It has now reached 6.5 metres in height and is in full bloom.

century plant
Photo: Hamarikyu Gardens

This is the best time to visit the garden as you’ll be able to see the century plant together with beautiful yellow and orange cosmos growing in the adjacent flower bed.

Hamarikyu Gardens map
Photo: Hamarikyu Gardens

You'll find the century plant close to Hamarikyu Gardens’ Otemon main gate. It’s in the intersection of the Peony Garden, Flower Garden and Uchibori Square. Click here for an English version of the map. On sunny days, you can even borrow a traditional wagasa parasol at the entrance gate for free before exploring the garden.

Hamarikyu Gardens century plant
Photo: Hamarikyu GardensThe century plant that flowered in Hamarikyu Gardens in 2012

It’s been ten years since the last century plant bloomed at Hamarikyu Gardens. In 2012, the succulent’s flowers appeared at the end of July for about a month.  

Hamarikyu Gardens century plants
Photo: Hamarikyu GardensThe flowering century plants in Hamarikyu Gardens in 2012

If you can’t make it to the park in person, follow Hamarikyu Gardens’ Twitter account for updates on the blooming century plant.

This article was originally published on June 15, and updated on August 4 2022.

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