Featured: Long time dying - Century plant
Featured December 15
Featuring foliage of a large agave (century plant).
This is a detail from the lower leaves of a dying (post-blooming) century plant.
These are leaves from the same plant that sent up a spectacular bloom stalk in 2014, one that literally went through the roof. Ever so slowly the huge lower leaves are losing their flesh, puckering, shriveling, turning brown. To my eyes, all these transformations have their own beauty and visual interest.
Rather than simply remove the doomed plant and replace it with another, the staff is letting nature take its course and using it as a learning experience both for them and for visitors. This conservatory is a popular destination for field trips for school children of all ages, and the staff goes out of its way to welcome them and present their collection in interesting ways. One new feature involving this plant is half a dozen or so simulated agave pollen grains, enlarged several thousand times, sprinkled around the base of the plant. Fertilized seeds were collected from this plant and have been used to raise the next generation of this particular specimen. Once large enough, one or more of the plants will be put on display.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens, Ann Arbor
Taken November 30, 2016 (D334-2016 )
Heartfelt thanks to all of you who have left comments for any of my recent and older photos in recent days. I will try to catch up with my own commenting, a bit at a time, as opportunity and energy allow.
arctangentfeatured photoFP2016.064taken November 30featured December 15naturefallautumnAnn ArborconservatoryshapescolorstexturesMatthaei Botanical Gardensagavecentury plantcloseupclose updetails
From Featured Photos 2016