Sunday, November 26, 2006

Once In A Lifetime

As a native Middle Westerner from Ohio, I'm still getting used to the desert plants found in the American Southwest. They appear alien to me. For example, take the "agave" plant. There are many species of agave that grow in this region, and they seem to grow quite well in the dry climate. (Tequila is made from this plant.)

Normally it's a fleshy-pointed-leaf plant (that sort of looks like an artichoke). But after about 20 to 25 years, a very strange thing happens. A vertical shoot rockets out of the center of the plant with a spectacular bloom of yellow. I took a photo of this agave bloom where the stalk was over 10 feet high.

Here's a close-up photo of the flower below. (You can click on the photo to get a larger image.) The very sad thing, though, is that this plant flowers only "once" in its lifetime, and then it dies. I suppose, it's a good way to go, if one has to eventually go.

I'll try to post other photos of desert plants and cacti in my future blog entries, so please look forward to them.

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