One of the plants that you can’t fail to miss here, if there are some in flower, is the American Agave. It is an exotic looking plant and one that I find quite fascinating. A common name (though misleading) is the Hundred Year plant as it takes many years for this plant to flower. Around 35 years is more accurate. It is a succulent plant made up of a wide rosette of long fleshy leaves which have strong spikes at the tips and edges. When the plant flowers it sends out a spectacular stem from the centre of the rosette. Growing at an incredible rate it can reach 8 metres high within a few weeks and it then produces clusters of yellow flowers. After flowering the plant will start to die though judging by the ones I have observed around here it can take a couple of years for the flower stalk to dry and fall over and even longer for the big fleshy leaves to die away. By the time it has completely died there are well established new plants that have grown from plantlets around the base.
A few weeks later they are many meters high and ready to flower. Note the 3rd from the left- a plant that flowered the previous year and is starting to turn brown and die.
As the bottom clusters of flowers are starting to die off the tops are flowering.