Fox Tail Agave

What appears at first glance to be a sad, droopy plant is actually a thriving life source for insects and birds.

Sending up an arching, flower-covered stem after growing for ten years, the fox tail agave blooms starting in late summer through early spring.  It is a magnet for bees and birds including hummingbirds, common yellowthroats and yellow-rumped warblers. 

Here’s a short clip of bees visiting the blossoms on a neighborhood plant: https://youtu.be/oJHRkRgLTns

The flowers open gradually, starting at the base of the inflorescence and working up to the tip, a journey of several feet. Fox tail agave make a splash due to a relatively short life span: once the blooms are spent (which takes several weeks) the plant dies, leaving behind an array of rosette-leaved younger plants around the base.

Unlike most agaves, the fox tail has no spines.  This botanical plant family also gives us tequila and agave nectar.  We’ll drink to that!

Published by Mashabu

Earnest observer of our natural world.

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