OK, another quick 20 minute post here to see if I can continue blogging in a smaller way...
The Century Plant.
It's actually a misleading common name for the Agave americana plant. Out here in the Mojave desert where I live these plants are common.
But until several weeks ago I'd never heard of them! Which is sad because they are fascinating plants.
We came across a mention of these plants in the local newspaper that showed a small picture and listed an address where one could be seen.
Just for fun I decided we should hop in the car and go find it. We'd been studying flowers recently in our homeschool, so this went right along with our studies.
When we got there I was amazed!
This plant doesn't actually live 100 years as the common name "century plant" would imply. They live more like 10-30 years. At the end of their life they put all their energy into growing this amazing flowering stalk. It has smallish yellow flowers. The plants dies after growing this flower stalk but new plants come out from shoots at the bottom.
It is believed to be pollinated by bats and moths which may explain why it's up so high. Amazing!
Honestly, you could just walk right by these things and not realize they are there because the stalk is so tall you think it's a tree. I discovered just the other day that there is one 2 streets from our house and I almost missed it when I walked by.
I even spotted one in a place I never would have dreamed of looking. Recently we were able to go to the Los Angeles temple. (It was a VERY hairy trip, but it had been ages since we'd gone, and I'm glad we went.)
Anyway, as I sat in the temple that evening I was glancing around at the mural on the wall. The paintings in that particular room depict the "lone and dreary world." It looks just like the desert where I live and it IS pretty lone and dreary looking! But I suddenly noticed something that made me smile- the Agave americana plant in full bloom! I was quite tickled that I now recognized it and had noticed it.
Our latest sighting of this plant occurred last weekend at the La Brea tar pits in the Los Angeles area. I had The Professor take this picture of us with it, though I should have had him stand back farther as it is so tall it got cut off at the top of the photo!
Plants are cool.
And see? The desert has some lovely little surprises.
I just have to look really hard.
And keep telling myself that I love it here.
Over and over and over....
One of these days I'll be convinced!
Now go look up some more pictures of this fascinating plant. Off you go!