Century Plants

There are many beautiful trees and brushes on Bell Rock even though it is a rock. I guess Bell Rock collects enough water when it does rain to sustain its many plants that are full of vital energy and healing power.

Century PlantI like Juniper trees, Manzanitas, Cacti, and specially the Century Plant … which is also called a ‘Agave’. One reason is that it reminds me of the mind for growth and transformation in our lives. A century plant looks like one of popular plants when it is young but when it becomes ready (20~40 years), a big stem begins to grow very quickly from its center straight to the sky. It reminds me of someone overcoming a certain limit of his or her routine life and experiencing a big breakthrough. It finally blossoms so beautifully in the sky and finishes its life.

Century PlantSometimes I ponder questions like “How well do I live my life?,” “What do I really want to do in my life?” and “Am I following the right way for that purpose?” Some wise people say we have the answers within ourselves. I think Century plants, as well as other places on Bell Rock, are good meditation spots and are very helpful to contemplate our life’s journey.

Reference: Agave deserti in Wikipedia
……They are commonly known as century plant

The name “century plant” refers to the long time the plant takes to flower. The number of years before flowering occurs depends on the vigor of the individual plant, the richness of the soil and the climate; during these years the plant is storing in its fleshy leaves the nourishment required for the effort of flowering.

Agave deserti (Desert Agave) is an agave native to desert regions in southern California and Arizona. Its tall yellow flower stalks dot dry rocky slopes and washes throughout the spring. It forms a rosette of fleshy gray-green leaves 1~2 ft long and 2~4 inch broad, with sharp spines along the edges and at the tips. It flowers at maturity (20-40 yrs), sending up an inflorescence 6~20 ft tall. The panicle bears numerous yellow, funnel-shaped flowers 2~3 inch long.

It is a common misconception that agaves are cacti. They are not related to cacti, nor are they closely related to Aloe whose leaves are similar in appearance. The desert dwelling Indians used fibers from the leaves to make cloth, bowstrings, and rope. Young flower stalks (roasted), buds, and hearts of plants (also roasted) were eaten. Agave azul (blue agave) is used in the production of tequila……

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