Monday, September 1, 2008

Look what popped up at our house

We stepped out the door to take Bisbee for a walk on Friday afternoon and there it was in front of us – Our desert agave sending up a stalk and getting ready to bloom.

This beautiful desert succulent is called a century plant because of the time it can take the plant to bloom. I don’t know how old our plant is, but experts say it can take up to 50 years to send up its towering flower stalk, depending on the conditions and the specie!

Now that the panicle of our plant is visible, it seems to be growing rapidly. We’re so excited. How tall will it be? (The stalk can approach 20’ in height.) Will the bats come? (The fabulous stalk display will attract pollinators including bats, hummingbirds, bees and moths.)

A sad sideline to this is that the bloom probably means our agave will die. However, you may note from the photo that our wonderful agave has been preparing her legacy – Surrounding her is a small colony of pups who will live on beyond the once-in-a-lifetime cluster of flowers!

Just another day here in the old pueblo – Desert life is just amazing. When the stalk cluster blooms, it will be beautiful, and I'll certainly post that photo.


jamie said...

Hi Monica,
I love your blog. I thought I would say hi. I moved here from Dallas four years ago and absolutely love Tucson. I'm a commercial photographer and filmmaker. I am producing a film and book project called American Cowgirl. I noticed you have a quote from Connie Reeves. My film trailer features Connie Reeves. Thought you might enjoy seeing it.
Take care,
Jamie Williams
That Girl Productions

Michelle said...

I love these plants. That stem is such a phallic symbol. I have often wondered how strong these are and if anyone ever makes furniture out of them. To me they look as strong as bamboo!

Kat J. Meyer said...

We just had our octopus agave bloom (and die :() over the summer, but the good news is, it will blossom a gazillion baby agaves that you can harvest and replant. We kept & planted 6 of ours and passed others on to friends and family. it's fun to document the stalk growing day by day and then put all the pix together into a little movie.