Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Tale of the Narrow Leaf Agave


It was a dark and stormy night......ahem....let me start it again.  It was a bright and sunny March morning when I took the above photo at the Desert Botanical Garden.  This narrow leaf agave plant has been growing in the middle of the a wildflower bed for many years and it probably appears in several photos I've taken over the years as the wildflowers start their spring blooming.


On April 5th I went to the garden and saw this huge stalk that had grown up in the middle of the agave plant.  I had never seen this plant bloom before so I was excited to see such a thick and heavy stalk.  It was certainly not the kind of bloom I would have expected.  I would have guessed a much thinner bloom stalk for this type of agave.


When I went to the garden this last Sunday morning, I notice that the stalk had started to bloom with the tiny yellow rosettes that open up all over the stalk turning it into what looks like a tall carpeted pole in the center of the plant.


Upon closer inspection I saw that the bees were absolutely feasting on the bloom.  It's quite a sight to see one of these plants throw up such a large spike, then watch it unfurl a layer of thick blooms.  It was even more exciting to see the thousands of bees drawn to what must be some very delicious nectar.

17 comments:

Steve Reed said...

Wow! I have never seen a plant bloom quite like that. We have agaves in Florida, "century plants," but their blooms are more delicate and have a thinner stalk. Does this one die after it blooms, like the agaves I know?

Thérèse said...

Such a nice background to the wild flowers. And what a bees' feast on this beautiful octopus!

llandudnopictures said...

What a spectacular sight!

Karl Demetz said...

That stalk is really tall and the bloom with the bees is spectacular indeed !

Fotolosopher said...

That is certainly a different kind of plant! I've never seen such a stalk. You're a stalker. And a good one!

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Incredible sight Sharon, j'adore! This really is the most amazing plant, so many bees! It did remind me of some of our Aussie natives.

Aimeecakes said...

Loooove that close up with all the bees

Judy said...

What a great series of shots! And an awesome plant.

Kathy said...

That's amazing Sharon. The desert has an unsurpassed beauty!

William Kendall said...

What beautiful colour in the bloom!

RedPat said...

That's marvelous, Sharon! And wonderful to see so many happy bees!

Birdman said...

That last yellow one is a eye grabber.

Lois said...

That is absolutely amazing Sharon! I have never seen anything like it. I love seeing the bees too.

Jack said...

Look at this!

Bob Crowe said...

What a good experience. It would be fascinating if you had time to take a photo a day over a few weeks. The shot with the bees is terrific.

Randy said...

Nice flowers and I really love that last shot.

José Mendonça said...

It's one of the most amazing inflorescence I know. The bottom shot is really fantastic!