When the Light is Just Right

I can see why these native southern AZ plants are called Blue Agave.  When the light is just right, they are more blue than anything else in the desert.  Pretty interesting facts about these:

Agave tequilana, commonly called blue agave (agave azul), tequila agavemezcal or maguey is an agave plant that is an important economic product of JaliscoMexico, due to its role as the base ingredient of tequila, a popular distilled spirit. The high production of sugars, mostly in the form of fructose, in the core of the plant is its most important characteristic, making it suitable for the preparation of alcoholic beverages.

The tequila agave is native to Jalisco, Mexico. The plant favors altitudes of more than 1,500 meters (4,921 feet) and grows in rich and sandy soils. Blue agave plants grow into large succulents, with spiky fleshy leaves, that can reach over 2 meters (6½ feet) in height. Agaves sprout a stalk (quiote) when about five years old that can grow an additional 5 meters (16 feet); they are topped with yellow flowers. This stalk is cut off from commercial plants so the plant will put more energy into the heart.[1]

The flowers are pollinated by a native bat (Leptonycteris nivalis) and produce several thousand seeds per plant. The plant then dies. The shoots on commercial plants are removed when about a year old to allow the heart to grow larger. The plants are then reproduced by planting these shoots; this has led to a considerable loss of genetic diversity in cultivated blue agave.

It is rare for one kept as a houseplant to flower, but a 50-year old blue agave in Boston grew a 10 m (30 ft) stalk requiring a hole in the greenhouse roof and flowered in the summer of 2006.[2][3]

This particular plant is au naturale at about four feet high at the entrance to our driveway.  We once paid $75 for one of these to go in our back yard at a previous house.  It ended up dying and I’m pretty sure the landscaper just yanked one out of the desert and charged us that price.  We have an abundance of them here.  Go figure.  Namaste’

Author: Regina

Passionate about writing, photography, and helping others achieve the success they desire.

7 thoughts on “When the Light is Just Right”

  1. You were quite informative. I have seen many of these plants, yet never knew anything about them. Now if I can remember a little of your informative article. I give this 2 👍👍 up.

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    1. They are quite amazing, however, like most of the other plants in the desert, you wouldn’t want to trip and fall into one 🙂

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  2. We have this plant here as well.. it was introduced into South Africa within this century and grown in some places commercially, don’t know why as I’ve never seen a locally produced tequila…. as a matter of interest I Google it quickly and I see we have a spirit called Agave… tequila is owned by Mexico and can’t be used by anyone else… fantastic post Gina got me thinking and researching first thing in the morning… now that’s a great post…

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  3. WOW! You pictured us so nicely the blue in the desert, I wished to travel there… Should be amazing. Thank you for all these interesting notes, fascinated me. Have a nice weekend, love, nia

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  4. We have always called the century plants. Same plant. We have them around the property. When they finally do bloom they die and you have to remove them. No easy task. They always leave one or two babies and the process starts all over again. I think they got the nick name century plant because it takes years and years for them to bloom.

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