Agave attenuata is as ubiquitous a plant in Los Angeles as sunshine. Older clumps provide textural swathes of soft pale greyish green that require no additional applied water…they are so effortless a plant one can forget about them until they bloom and then look up! While driving around town the last few weeks, I’ve been fascinated as there seem to be many more in bloom than usual. They reminded me of great arching swan necks. Enchanted I paused to examine them in detail.
Up close they are truly resplendent-thick towering fleshy stalks are furry with a profusion of winged baby agave arranged rhythmically about the circumference. The mother plant holds firm to this great Jack in the Beanstalk thrusting every bit of energy into a very long bloom cycle, the flowers opening from the base gradually ripening until ready to cast away on a breeze.
I have a new respect for this Agave. Its rare in that this variety does not die after casting its seed. I always appreciated that it doesn’t threaten you with razor-like points and I now feel quite fond of its maternal demeanor. Reminds me of Charlotte’s Web and those parachuting offspring.
And just to reinforce the love swan relationship I spied a creative interpretation on an iron fence just before Valentines……