A new local celebrity is currently growing up in South Norwood - in the form of a 10-metre-tall tequila plant.

Jane Jamieson’s dad gave her an Agave Americana plant 25 years ago and it has been living in her front garden ever since.

Known as century plants, Agave Americanas can live up to 100 years old and generally only flower once throughout their lifetime.

In June this year, Jane found that her plant, named by the family as Gloria, had begun to flower at just 30 years old - staying true to the reference to Gloria Gaynor’s song ‘I Will Survive’.

Gloria’s spike has grown rapidly ever since she started to flower and has now reached 10 metres in height - making Gloria a “local celebrity” according to Jane.

The 52-year-old said: “This is probably going to be Gloria’s only time of flowering throughout her lifespan and she might die or survive after - we don’t know.

“I was surprised that she had already flowered this young and I just thought she was growing in the middle like normal but me and one of my two daughters saw that there were slightly different colours there.

“She still hasn’t opened her flowers fully but once she has we will have to think of a way to get her 10 metre spike down safely.

“Whether Gloria, the plant underneath, will survive - I don’t know.”

Your Local Guardian: Jane sends Gloria's babies across the UKJane sends Gloria's babies across the UK

Jane said that people often come to check back on Gloria and are astonished that she grows so much in such a short space of time.

She added: “It’s funny listening to people who go past because some think she’s an aloe vera plant but they don’t grow that big and I definitely wouldn’t want to cut Gloria’s spike and put it on my skin.

“People don’t realise but tequila is actually made out of this type of plant - they’re left to grow for years and then the middle part of the leaves is taken to make tequila.

“I’m not planning on doing that and I’d like to think she will stay in our garden.”

Jane explained that when growing in the wild, the spike would fall itself and each flower would have seeds which would then propagate further.

She said: “We can’t let Gloria’s spike fall as she’d take the phone lines out - which she’s already taller than.

“At the point of flowering the spike is dead so we would probably just recycle it, but Gloria has put so much energy into growing it so tall in merely a month and a half.

“She’s actually around two and a half to three metres anyway without her spike so she’s definitely got that advantage.”

Agave Americana plants are originally from South America but Jane thinks Gloria came from Spain.

She added that it is probably this summer’s “tropical weather” in London that has helped Gloria to flower so quickly.

Gloria has now made her mark right across the UK - after Jane posted on a gardening Facebook page about the shock flowering of her plant.

Many asked Jane to post some of Gloria’s “babies” for them to plant in their own gardens - and so far she’s sent over 50 packages out all over the country.

She said: “We often dig out the babies and give them to neighbours and friends so there are quite a few in other’s gardens in South Norwood.

“She’s actually got another one coming out of her which is only four or five years old which decided to flower as well, but that’s only tiny and the spike is about half a metre tall because it’s so young.

“Not all of them grow like this but it just takes the right conditions at the right time - and Gloria decided on this year.

“My husband passed away in January suddenly so it’s nice that we have got to see her flower after that especially as we both planted her all those years ago.”

Jane added: “Gloria is not necessarily native to this country and she’s a succulent, mostly water, so can freeze.

“I usually say to people that have a baby one not to leave it outside over winter but we did with Gloria and she just looks after herself.

“She has survived - true to her name.”