In March, 2009 two agave plants on our property in southeastern Arizona sent up stalks indicating they were going to bloom. This offered a great opportunity to follow the development of the flowers and seeds and take photographs of the entire process, which took place between mid-March and the end of July. For general information on the agave go here.
As the following photos show, the stalks first came straight up about 30 feet, with triangular, leaf-like patches along the stem. These soon drew away from the stalk revealing a branch forming parallel to the stem. After reaching a couple of feet in length these branches swung downward, forming the familiar chandelier formation on which the flowers appear. The flowers at first are green pods, then open to release pistils and stamens which attract many bees and insects as well as birds.