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Back page: 80-year-old plant removed from garden

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — An American agave’s job is to flower once and then die. One of the plants that called the University of Michigan home for an unexpectedly long 80 years accomplished the former last year. On Wednesday, its life came to an end. Mike Palmer, the horticulture manager at the university’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens, used a hand saw to bring down the agave’s 20-plus-foot-tall stalk. “It was time. It’s sad. Many people have said to me though they enjoyed the whole flowering that they were anticipating the sadness of its final days,” Palmer said after he and some workers carried the fallen stalk away, leaving a stump where it once stood. Still, “the agave lives on,” said Palmer, who added new plants will be grown from its seedlings and eventually sold. Plus, university music professor Michael Gould plans to make a flute from the stalk.


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