For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Lions Tail (Agave attenuata)

Family Asparagaceae
Agave attenuata is a species of agave sometimes known as the "lion's tail", "swan's neck", or "foxtail" for its development of a curved stem, unusual among agaves.
 Native to the plateau of central Mexico, as one of the unarmed agaves, it is popular as an ornamental plant in gardens.
 The stems typically range from 50 to 150 cm (20–60 in) in length, and eventually old leaves fall off, leaving them naked and visible. The leaves are ovate-accuminate, 50–70 cm (20–28 in) long and 12–16 cm (5–6 in) wide, pale in color, ranging from a light gray to a light yellowish green. There are no teeth, nor terminal spines, although the leaves taper to points that fray with age. The inflorescence is a dense raceme 2.5 to 3 meters (8 to 10 ft) high, with greenish-yellow flowers.
 The original specimens were sent to Kew by the explorer Galeotti in 1834, from an unspecified location in central Mexico.
 More recent study has reported it from Jalisco east to Mexico, in small colonies at elevations of 1,900 to 2,500 meters (6,200 to 8,200 ft), but there have been few sightings, suggesting this agave is rare in the wild.
 In cultivation, Agave attenuata is said to prefer relatively moist loamy soil, although it can cope with poor soil and dry conditions. It should be protected from direct sunlight in summer and from long periods of frost.