We have always associated Las Pitas with the landscape of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata.
Because they are not endemic to Andalucia there was talk of them being eradicated by conservationists.
Instead an invasion of black picudos, a small beetle, has invaded the Parque and is rapidly killing them off.
We have compiled a selection of photos from our library, taken over the last five years, as a tribute to the pitas (agave).
At least we have recorded their memory.
Pitas always made striking images in sillhuette into the light.
When pitas died, young shoots would fall off the old stalks and root themselves in the ground around.
Pitas in flower added bright yellow colour to the summer landscape. We have not seen this in 2016.
You cannot tell from this photo but most of the plants here have been infected and are dying.
With the eradication of the chumberos (prickly pear) by the red, cochinella beetle the loss of these two plants will completely change the landscape of the Parque Natural de Cabo de Gata.