Sunday, August 16, 2015

Agave Blooms

On our recent visit to Masinagudi we saw these huge plants all along the NH 212 - the road running through Bandipur National Park. I’ve been driving on these roads for eons now and didn’t remember seeing anything like this before. We stopped to investigate and found that they were growing out of Agave plants. A quick google search revealed that these outgrowths are called Agave Blooms. It’s a fascinating story. At the end of their lives the Agave plants expend all the energy they have stored in producing these shoots that grow up to 30-40 ft, sometimes at the rate of 6 inches a day. And then they die! The plants on this highway seem to be blooming in synchrony.

I couldn’t help wonder if the agaves knew their days were numbered because the 4-laning of this highway is underway in true earnest and a few thousand magnificent 100-yr old Banyan trees have already paid the ultimate price. I’m not even sure if the blooms will succeed in spawning a new generation. Even if they did, the next time around, we are likely to zoom past without paying attention on the shiny new highway in our shiny new country.

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