Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Agave flower

Agave plants are perennial, but each rosette flowers once and then dies (semelparity). Some species are known by the name century plant. Each rosette is monocarpic and grows slowly to flower only once. During flowering, a tall stem or "mast" grows from the center of the leaf rosette and bears a large number of short, tubular flowers. After development of fruit, the original plant dies, but suckers are frequently produced from the base of the stem, which become new plants.

They mature very slowly and die after flowering, but are easily propagated by the offsets from the base of the stem.

The agave was a major food source for the prehistoric indigenous people of the Southwestern United States.