Thursday, March 04, 2010

Blooming To Death

Over the years I have tried growing many different things in the garden space in front of my cabana. The only thing that ever survives the ocean spray salt is cactus. Or a variety thereof.

But did you know that cactus bloom? One in particular puts on quite the show. The maguey.

The flowering stem above is over 7 feet tall. While traveling in the high desert area of Mexico, and the Baja region, I have seen them over 20 feet tall. Impressive.

The "flower" section starts out with these buds. They remind me of day lillies.

When they finally do open, they display these seeds, not flowers at all. Still magical as they dance in the wind.

The sad thing about this plant is that once it blooms, it dies. This is the second one that I have planted in this location. The first one did the same thing, bloomed and died. Usually they put out a baby plant at the base and life goes on. This time, not.

A healthy maguey. Or at least what passes for healthy in this salt laden air.

The maguey are not the only ones putting on a show right now. The aloes are following suit.

These plants are not known for their showy flowers, but interesting all the same.

On the plus side, these plants don't die in child birth. Aloes send up babies from the ground, like a rhizome, so I am not sure why they bother to bloom at all.

There you have it. What's happening currently in my garden. I suppose I had better start thinking about what I am going to transplant in that front space!


Life's a Beach! said...

I looked out my back window yesterday and noticed I have aloes in bloom for the first time here in Arizona. The aloes have produced so many baby plants that I may have to destroy the pot to get them out! I didn't know cacti bloomed until we moved to AZ! Almost all of them put on a beautiful show!

threecollie said...

So pretty! What a shame that they first ones die. I have a lot of aloes in pots, but their flower spikes are nowhere near that showy.

lisa said...

I agree with threecollie, yours are pretty! the first one is different but neat looking!

Steve Cotton said...

The aloe in my courtyard has decided to put on a show of flowers -- it must be in competition with yours.