Agave (Pitas) En Flor

Agave en flor

Agave en flor

I do not take many landscape photos in high summer. It is too hot to walk around the campo and on most days in July and August the light loses its clarity because of the heat haze. This year, though, there is one phenomenon that I had to record: the spectacular flowering of the agaves.

Agave and Las Hortichuelas

Agave and Las Hortichuelas

We think that, because of the extra rain we had in early spring, far more agaves than usual were persuaded to flower. They do this by sending up tall shoots, resembling spears of giant asparagus, from their centres. These gradually unfold, sprouting branches at the tips of which are dense clusters of buds.The buds open to reveal their bright cushions of yellow flowers. After flowering, the main plant dies and, after some time, the stem collapses to the ground. Before this happens, though, the plant shoots off hundreds of seeds which root themselves in the soil. Traditionally, the dried, woody, main stems (called pitacas) were collected and used for roofing timbers in the simple country cortijos.

From the roas into Las Hortichuelas

From the roas into Las Hortichuelas

These photos were taken at Las Hortichuelas this morning. Typical colours of the landscape of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata in July.


About Margaret Merry

I grew up in Falmouth, Cornwall, England where, after leaving Falmouth High School, I spent a year at Falmouth School of Art. Then followed three years at Hornsey College of Art in London where I obtained a Diploma in Art and Design. I then spent a post-graduate year at the West of England College of Art in Bristol where I gained an Art Teacher?s Diploma and a Certificate in Education of the University of Bristol. I lived and worked in Truro for over 30 years and became one of Cornwall's most popular artists. My paintings have been exhibited in New York, Tokyo, Paris and London and have been bought by collectors from all over the world. I have published 4 books which became local bestsellers - 'The Natural History of a Westcountry City', 'Margaret Merry's Cornish Garden Sketchbook', 'Sea & Sail' and 'Tidal Reaches'. In 2002 I moved to Spain and now live pn a small farmer the town of Alhabia in the Alpujarra Almeriense in the Province of Almeria. I now get my inspiration from the dramatic scenery of Andalucia and its old cities, towns and villages which I usually capture in watercolour. I also enjoy portraiture and figurative art, particularly nudes and dancers. For these paintings I use artists' soft pastels. I have written and illustrated 3 children's books - The Wise Old Boar, The Lonely Digger and The Adventure of Princess The Pony - which have been published in the USA.
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3 Responses to Agave (Pitas) En Flor

  1. Angela says:

    Digby,Margarets’ Facebook has a porn virus on it and it sent all my friends very rude pictures. Can you check and make sure it is safe now we have all reported it. Do not click on it if it is still there it goes viral. I have unfriended Margaret just to stop any more porn. It is a hacker. please remove it and report it to Facebook. all the best Angela

  2. Sergio Rubio Ortiz says:

    Hi! I like studing botany. Please tell me: Is it very difficut to see agave growing in England? Have you ever seen agave in England?

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