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Star Performer

November 9, 2011

Star stalk

Last week’s vacation was mostly spent prepping for the Garden Bazaar, but we set aside Wednesday for a day-long visit to the high desert town of Joshua Tree. A series of posts on the wonders we found there will be posted at week’s end, but before that I wanted to share our latest — and showiest — agave display. Whirling, sinuous fibers have gathered in the center of our agave attenuata, shooting upward like a many-fingered arm toward the sun; a flower stalk has begun to take shape. Currently measuring in at 39-inches, this stalk seems to have the potential to be one of the enormous floral arcs like those we saw at Pitzer College in Claremont (click here to see photo). 2011 has been a great year for succulent stalkings at the Rancho, what with our agave multifiliferabloodspot mangave, and now our attenuata, producing floral extensions of astounding lengths and beauty. Although I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary to encourage these events, I can’t help but feel like a proud, encouraging, parent somehow …


I’ve never seen an attenuata flower stalk up close and this one is amazing, especially at its base where it has the appearance of the underside of an insect about to unfurl hundreds of crawly legs, reaching out to … er, moving on.

To what lengths will this agave go to break all previous succulent flower stalk records at the Rancho? ¿Quién sabe? I will, of course, post its progress here, but I’m predicting a record-shattering ten feet …

Next stop: Joshua Tree!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2011 6:30 am

    lovely writing and poetry – thank you!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 9, 2011 6:35 am

      Susan, thanks! I look forward to exploring your gorgeous site…

  2. Dave in Toronto permalink
    November 9, 2011 3:05 pm

    What a wonderfully strange creature! Who knew? (I didn’t, anyway)

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 9, 2011 3:21 pm

      Dave! How great to see, er, read you!! I’ll email you, compadre de corazon!

  3. November 9, 2011 4:24 pm

    Wow! I love that you recognize these blooms as the events they are…

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 9, 2011 4:49 pm

      Hey, Loree, I don’t think I could ever ignore such blatant displays of plant sexiness!

  4. November 9, 2011 11:24 pm

    So cool! I heard a rumor that they don’t flower very often up in here in the Bay Area. Not enough heat or something like that…

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 9, 2011 11:27 pm

      I’ve seen flower stalks from afar, but never at this stage … can’t believe it’s mine!

  5. Mrs. Monstera permalink
    November 10, 2011 6:31 am

    Looks like a giant dreamy Tillandsia… beautiful.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 10, 2011 6:34 am

      You’re right … a very large, very scary, truly whirly, Tillandsia!

  6. November 11, 2011 2:50 am

    You didn’t do anything out of the ordinary, but you LOVE your plants, so they GROWWW…!! 🙂

    I like your blog, it’s beautiful! Thanks! And congrats on a successful Garden Bazaar. 🙂

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 11, 2011 3:13 am

      Thanks, Nisha, for such a great comment … see you for the Spring sale! Reuben


  1. Schwing! Time « Rancho Reubidoux

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