Century plant is known for its habit of blooming once and dying. This does happen, though usually in a shorter time than a century. Sometimes twenty years may do it. On the other hand, does it really die? The crown in question does, but new crowns can grow from the roots. So it is a fun story, but not always true! Besides, how could a plant profit from one bloom and death? Studies have shown that such plants produce more viable seed in one bloom than their relative species that bloom multiple times. This gives them an advantage in their challenging habitats. Think of them as lilies that just have a little longer stem and leaf growth cycle. One can imagine how that habit would evolve in the desert.