In 1992, my mother planted a little Agave Americana in my parent’s farm in the Jordanian village Aluk, 25 km north of Amman. Over the years, this agave grew and grew to a degree where my parents started thinking of removing it. Agaves have very sharp spikes that can give you nasty pain and can be dangerous especially where children are playing. My parents always took care to trim the spikes so no one gets hurt.
But a few months ago, they noticed an asparagus-like stem growing from the center of the agave. It turns out that it was ready to go into bloom, which is truly an amazing phenomenon.
An agave only blooms once, then it dies, survived by numerous offspring plants which develop around it. This could take anywhere between one and two decades. Actually one of the names of this type of agave is “century plant” because it takes so long to bloom. All its life, the agave stores nutrients in its leaves in preparation for this sudden blooming process, which occurs at a crazy speed.
My parent’s agave developed a blooming stem which is over 11 meters high in just three months. This speedy growth sucks out all the nutrients from the plant which starts to shrivel.
I have never seen something like that! My parent told me about it but when I actually saw it last weekend I was shocked.
Needless to say my parents are extremely happy about this natural wonder occurring right in front of their house. Seeing such an amazing growth and blooming process after 18 years of planting something is certainly out of the ordinary.
And while it may be sad to see the original plant go, it is already replaced by a whole bed of offspring plants.
Here are some more pictures: