Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Agave

I have agave plants in my yard. The agave grows slowly, sometimes known as the "century plant" because it takes a century for it to bloom and then it dies. Well, it really does not live that long just to bloom and die. But, depending on soil, weather, etc. it will live a long time. I have two that are blooming now, which means they will also die soon. But, before they die they grow a tall stalk with flowers that become fruit and at the base the plant send out new plants. I am looking forward to watching this process. The birds, bees, and butterflies are loving all the flowers blooming.

The agave is native to Mexico, South America and the Southwest United States. It can produce a sugarcane substance from the stalk, agave nectar (syrup), the fibers can be used for weaving, nails have been made from this plant. It is a very beneficial plant.
  












One of my pastels from plein air event at Desert Botanical Gardens
        
One of the best known products that the Blue Agave, Agave azul makes is mezcal. A form of mezcal is tequila. The true blue agave is found in Mexico where the tequila is made. The plant seen most often in the southwest is the Agave americana. The agave has been developed as a garden plant. It can have several shades of green, blue-green, yellow-green and be variegated. They can be seen in several parts of the world but need to be protected from frost. I love discovering all these native plants where ever I am west coast or east coast there is always something new to find.

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