During flowering, a tall stem or “mast” grows apically from the center of the rosette and bears a large number of short, tubular flowers, and then unfortunately dies. In other words, this magnificent desert plant most certainly goes out with a bang. There are many Agave on our property here in Arizona, all have produced a giant mast and each and every one has been repurposed after the Agave succulent dies. I cut off the mast and put it in a dry area to rest for months. They make excellent roosts for my chickens! They become as hard and sturdy as wood, and their unique, which of course, I love.
This particular mast grew about 5 inches every night to become what it is in this pic. It will not get any taller, the next phase will be the flowering. It will dazzle us with it’s beauty for about 6 months, then it will be time to cut off the mast. The Agave itself will then begin to look lifeless and start to lean. When this happens it’s time to give it a good push, tip it over, and well… game over. But wait, this gem of a succulent almost always leaves offspring to continue it’s legacy. And, the cycle of life begins again. 🙂
I have an Agave Mast that’s nearly 12 feet long in my barn right now, as soon as it’s seasoned enough to paint I’m going to do something cool with it. I plan to cut off all the flowering shoots, sand it until its nice and smooth and then paint it all different colors. Then what? I don’t know, just seems like a fun thing to do!