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Bloomin' cactus
cactus lady
Lois Davis and her son Andy stand next to her 50- year-old agave palmeri that began blooming in April. - photo by CANDY PADILLA / The Journal

Lois Davis never dreamed that when she bought an itty bitty agave palmeri  50 years ago that she would live to see it bloom.  Davis bought the plant in 1963 at the Turlock Sales Yard for about $15.  She planted it in her back yard and has enjoyed it through the years as the plant has produced several baby plants.  

Davis' son Andy, who has seen the plant grow all of his life, helps  maintain the yard and noticed the plant blooming in early April so he decided to photograph it daily for fun.  As he documented the plant's bloom, he was astonished by the plant's rapid growth, sometimes a foot in a single day.  The bloom has reached about 13 feet and has a very thick stem. 

Davis hopes the plant will survive the bloom as this particular plant is known to bloom every half century and possibly die.  She says in the meantime she will enjoy its beauty.  Davis often invites her neighbors and friends over to view it.  If the plant should die, she does not plan to replant another.