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Agave

Agave lechuguilla

Description:

Spotted this blooming agave at the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Berkeley, CA.

Habitat:

UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, Berkeley, CA.

Notes:

Agave lechuguilla (Lechuguilla) is an agave species found only in the Chihuahuan Desert, where it is an indicator species. It typically grows on calcareous soils. The plant flowers once in its life, then it dies. The flowers are a source of nutrients for insects, bats, and some birds. The leaves are long, tough and rigid, with very sharp, hard points which can easily penetrate clothing and even leather, giving the colloquial name Shin-daggers. Native Americans living there have used fibers from the leaves (commonly called ixtle, but also a hard fiber known by the trade name Tampico fiber) to make ropes and mats. Nowadays Tampico is also being used in the industrial brush business. It is resistant to most chemicals, alkaline solutions, acidic solutions, heat etc. The water stored in this plant, rich in salts and minerals, is sold in Mexico as a sport drink. The plant makes up a large part of the diet of the collared peccary in some areas. It is toxic to cattle and sheep, however. Wikipedia

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misako
Spotted by
misako

Oakland, California, USA

Spotted on Sep 18, 2011
Submitted on Jan 3, 2012

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