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Agave Americana (2)

February 17th 2015 08:14
... observing an Agave Americana flower is amazing ...

Agave Americana plants are widely grown for their ornamental beauty in a garden but, so it is claimed, all parts of this plant have been put to beneficial use. It has been claimed that the Agave Americana plant has many medicinal properties.Its fibre can be put to good use and the flower stalk (when roasted) is sweet and nutritious.

In November I noticed that an Agave Americana plant, which is growing on a vacant block next to us, had sent up a tall flower stalk.
I have never closely observed this phenomenon before, so I have watched with great interest.

I started taking photos of this plant on the 3rd November, 2014 ---
and have posted them in my previous blog.

I took the following photos on 3rd December,2014.
I had begun to realise this journey was going to be much longer and more spectacular than I had expected.

Enjoy.


agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant





agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant





agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


.. enjoy the journey ...


... next blog ... Agave Americana (3)

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Agave Americana (1)

February 3rd 2015 05:35
... and some plants are spectacular ...

Agave Americana

We have a vacant block next to us and Agave Americana plants are growing 'wild' right next to our fence.
I've always admired their shape, size and colour but this year we have been intrigued as a spectacular display has unfolded before our eyes.

One of the plants has flowered.

It has been the most interesting experience.

Although, it seems, a lot of varieties of agave are grown in gardens for their ornamental value, I am not familiar with them.
I didn't know the name of this plant, so I have been encouraged to do some research. I'm pretty sure they are Agave Americana or more commonly known as the Century plant.
They are a native of tropical America, probably originating in Mexico.

agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


The Agave Americana is known as the Century plant because it matures slowly. In a warm climate the plants take 8 to 10 years to mature and flower.
When it is mature the plant waits until conditions are just right to trigger it to flower.

I first noticed the flower stalk on this plant when it was already standing tall.

agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant
This photo was taken on the 3rd November, 2014.
Notice how fresh the leaves look.

The Agave Americana plant can have an impressive flower stalk that towers up to 20-40 feet.

Thinking the flowers might mature and disappear as quickly as the stalk had appeared I took some more photos five days later, on the 8th November.
Little did I know this was just the beginning ....

agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant - the top of the flower stalk.


agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant - the base of the flower stalk.




Ten days later - 18th November.

agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


agave americana century plant
Agave Americana - Century Plant


... watch, wait and wonder ...

.... next posting will be Agave Americana (2)





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... and gardens have many surprises ...

bobtail lizard skink australian photograph garden
Australian Bobtail Lizard - lives in our garden

One day, unnoticed and unannounced, a Bobtail Lizard literally 'dropped into' our garden. There is no easy way in to our garden for a Bobtail and, unless it can climb walls, there is no way out. It behaved as if it had been in this environment forever and as its presence was non-threatening we let it be.

One day when my husband was gardening, and the Bobtail Lizard was wandering around, he decided to set it free - "give it a life," he said - and put it over the wall onto a vacant block where it could live a quiet life and perhaps find a mate.

To his surprise, within half an hour the Bobtail was back. Instead of wandering off to freedom it decided to drop (the fall would be about 1 1/2 metres) back into its favourite haunt.

Years later it lives in our garden still, wandering as it pleases, taking shelter in its favourite spots, hibernating during the cooler months and looking sleek and healthy.

bobtail lizard skink australian photograph garden
Bobtail Lizard - trying to hide under the 'Moses in the Cradle' plants




The Bobtail Lizard is one of the most well known of the Australian lizards and is a member of the blue-tongue lizard family. When threatened it will raise its head, open its mouth as wide as it can and show its blue tongue.
They can grow to 45 cm in length and can live up to twenty years.
So, happily, it looks as though this lizard will be lazing in our garden for a few years to come.

*** money can't buy the real joys in life ***


I wrote the above post in January, 2011.
Since then we have had two other bobtails enter (drop into) our garden.

Sadly, one became unwell and died but the other one has settled happily into life in our garden. Rarely do we see the two together but we often used to ponder how exciting it would be if they were a pair. As the years past we decided they couldn't be.

However, this morning my husband came in from the garden with some exciting news.
There was a baby bobtail in our garden!
We've no idea how old it is but it is about 18cms long, lively and looking very healthy.

bobtail lizard australian skink
Baby Bobtail Lizard in our Garden - trying to hide behind the pot plants


bobtail lizard australian skink


I've read that a bobtail can give birth to a brood of one to four.
Wouldn't it be exciting if we found another little one in our garden.


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