Daily Archives: January 2, 2014

Flower head or swimming cap?

This glorious Hydrangea flower reminds me so much of retro petalled swimming caps.

Hydrangea flower

Hydrangea flower

Free Clipart photo

Free Clipart photo

Towering Agave

This Agave Americana has caught my eye in the past two weeks.

DSCF6060It is considered a weed by some but I cannot find it on the banned plant list here in New Zealand. It is growing alongside State Highway 58 on the grassy edge of the road. It will be regularly coated with salt laden air and sea spray as well as taking a battering from northwesterly gales.

Every so often we spy a single plant like this reaching maturity and reaching for the sky , competing for height against a light standard, with its spreading flower head structure.
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I found this information about it:
Stout, succulent, rhizomatous perennial, with leaves in a basal rosette. Rigid, leathery, hairless, fleshy leaves (1-2 m x 15 cm) are triangular in cross section, with margins lined with raised, coarse 5 mm teeth 4 cm apart, and tipped with a conical, hard spine (25 mm long). Flowering stems, which are 7-10 m tall and produced rapidly at maturity (after 10-15 years), are candelabra-like clusters of many yellow flowers borne on branches off the main stem which are followed by seed capsules containing black seeds (5 cm long). After flowering the basal rosette dies and is replaced by several small lateral rosettes (daughters). Source: http://weedbusters.co.nz/weed_info/detail.asp?WeedID=35
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The last one I saw in my local area collapsed in a very dramatic manner once it had flowered and there is no evidence of any “daughters” growing at that spot.

For now I am watching this one unfold as I stretch my neck to see what is happening high above the road.

Do other readers see these plants?