Sunday, September 15, 2013

Century Plant Triplets--10th Week, Minus Peewee

Peewee's gone! The pixstrip shows the century plants for April 29 and May 6. (Click for larger older/newer side-by-side image.) Lefty and Righty are in full blooms.  Lefty and Righty look to be in full robustness. Alas, poor Peewee. I suspect caretakers cut it down rather than risk having Peewee fall over onto a vehicle stopped in traffic, or pose a road hazard with downed stalk and bloom clusters.

Over the last few years, I've spotted some singular century plants in the initial sprouting stage. A plant would sprout a stalk, spread bloom clusters, which later are surrounded by busy bees boisterously buzzing bulky blooms, ... (Say that last phrase fast multiple times, why dontcha?) One day, the plant would be gone, or cut near the base.

Apparently, cutting a century plant down comes with hazards. Dave's Garden has a webpage that includes posts about stalk removals, with or without blooms. Apparently, the sap can be very painful and dangerous to contact.

My thoughts of the pix for that day:
On Friday, May 3, I received email from Portraits of Wildflowers blogger Steven Schwartzman that he took pix of the "the two remaining century plants". That meant one [plant] is missing, most likely, cut down. On Monday, May 6, I took my pictures and confirmed it was the leaning Peewee that's gone. Thus, the one [pic] I have for Monday, April 29 was the last one I have in my possession with all three plants. I feel lucky that I decided to take the pic last Monday (April 29) while Peewee was still there.

The main pic is the one that I've been taking from the square at the gas station. The second one is the view from the bank across the street. (Tossed out several pictures because of bad timing with cars in the way.) The third one is the view from about 45 degrees from the right. The two remaining plants look like leaners. We'll see how much longer they fare [fare well before the farewell, that is].
In my thoughts for that day, I had intended to use the second and third pictures as individual ones. For this article, I decided to make comparative composites of April 29 and May 6 images for both front and right side views.
Index to my agave posts, from the time I first spotted the set of triplets in early March to mid-June, about 3 1/2 months.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


Anonymous said...

What devoted documentation: these plants really engaged you. It's good to have a passion like that.

whilldtkwriter said...

I'd been photologging a few in the neighborhood over the years, but not with the strong intention to blog about them. When I spotted the triplets, the timing was perfect to capture them in weekly pix, and the writing would come. Initially, during the pic-taking sessions, I had a vague idea how to organize. The first couple of articles firmed up my, uh, executions.

Woody Lemcke said...

Hi Wanda,
Wow, you've become quite a field botanist! Thank you very much for sharing and educating on these very interesting plants. I'll slow down and appreciate the agave plants at a new level!
Kind regards,

whilldtkwriter said...

Hi, Woody. Not a botanist. Century plants are just so majestic, if/when agaves make it to that stage. When the program switches on for an agave, the transformation over time (about 4 months) is amazing to behold. Then it dies, leaving all sorts of offspring "pups".

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